Fire breaks out in Greek island refugee camp


A fire broke out in a refugee camp in the Greek island of Samos on Wednesday, destroying tents and other structures with no immediate reports of any injuries.

The fire department said the blaze was limited in size and was tackled by 18 fire-fighters using nine vehicles. There was no immediate information on how many tents were destroyed.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the fire. More than 3,800 people live in and around the Samos camp, a facility originally built to house just fewer than 650.

Many of the tents are packed closely together in the overcrowded camp, and camping gas canisters the residents use for cooking caused small explosions.

In September, a series of fires destroyed Greece’s largest refugee camp, Moria, on the nearby island of Lesbos, leaving more than 10,000 people in need of emergency shelter.

Greek authorities had said those blazes had been deliberately set by a small group of the camp’s residents protesting isolation and lockdown orders imposed after a coronavirus outbreak in the camp.

Greece is one of the main routes into the European Union of people fleeing poverty and conflict in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The vast majority head to eastern Greek islands from the nearby Turkish coast. (Source: Mainichi Japan)