DUNDRIK, April 11: A huge fire, apparently started deliberately, tore through the Grande-Synthe migrant camp near the northern French city of Dunkirk late Monday, reducing it to “a heap of ashes”, the regional chief said.
Firefighters said at least 10 people had been injured in the blaze at the camp, which was home to some 1,500 people, mostly Iraqi Kurds, living in closely packed wooden huts.
“There is nothing left but a heap of ashes,” Michel Lalande, prefect of France’s Nord region, told reporters at the scene as firefighters continued to battle the flames which were visible from several kilometres (miles) away.
“It will be impossible to put the huts back where they were before.”
The fierce blaze destroyed most of the 300 huts in the camp and had still not been extinguished at 2am Tuesday.
The migrants were evacuated and would be rehoused in emergency accommodation, the prefect said, adding that the Dunkirk suburb of Grande-Synthe had already made two gymnasiums available.
Lalande said the blaze had been started after a fight on Monday afternoon between Afghans and Kurds at the camp that had left six injured with knife wounds.AFP