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Fire at Greek migrant camp ‘under control’: Police

21 Sep 2020 / 09:00 H.

ATHENS: A fire that broke out on Sunday at a reception centre for asylum-seekers on the Greek island of Samos was under control, police and the fire services said.

The fire came after 12,000 people including entire families with elderly and newborns were left homeless earlier this month when fire broke out in the overcrowded and unsanitary Moria camp on Lesbos, another island in the Agean.

Two or three containers at the Samos centre were destroyed but no-one was injured, a police source said.

“There is no risk of the fire spreading,“ a spokeswoman for the fire service told AFP.

Like the camp in Moria, the Samos centre was one of five set up during the 2015 migrant crisis on Aegean islands to deal with a flow from nearby Turkey.

Both camps had far exceeded initial capacity, in the case of Samos, which was expected to house 650 migrants, almost 6,000 eventually found their way there.

The result was poor hygiene, frequent fires and fights.

Camps across Greece are still subject to coronavirus confinement measures, while the rest of the country began returning to some sense of normality in early May.

That fuelled tension in the centres, where relatively few cases of the virus had been detected as of early September.

On Samos, Greek authorities said they have detected just 21 cases of coronavirus among the migrants. — AFP

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