ARSON FEAR AS MIGRANT CAMP IS REDUCED TO ASHES
A camp housing up to 1,500 migrants near the Channel port of Dunkerque has been devastated in a fire. At least ten people were injured when flames ravaged closely packed wooden shelters at the Grande-synthe camp.
The blaze, which was being treated as arson, came hours after a clash involving up to 150 migrants. Six people were injured, with three being treated in hospital for knife wounds, according to local officials.
“There is nothing left but a heap of ashes,” said Michel Lalande, prefect of the Nord département. The camp was evacuated and the migrants housed in emergency accommodation, which included two gymnasiums, he added.
Among those housed at the camp was Iraqi migrant Albidani. “I lost all my documents,” he said, standing next to the charred remains of the wooden shelters. “I just have only this paper that says I’m a refugee in France.”
The Grande-synthe camp, ( pictured below before the fire) was built by medical charity Médécins Sans Frontières and opened in March 2016. Its population had grown after the closure last October of the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp, which stood 40 kilometres west along the coast.
Several violent incidents have been recorded at the Dunkerque camp; police intervened in March after a fight left five men injured, and a man was stabbed last November.