Fire at Greek migrant camp ‘under control’: police

FILE PHOTO: A family of migrants flee the Moria camp after a fire broke out, on the island of Lesbos on September 9, 2020. – Thousands of asylum seekers on the Greek island of Lesbos fled for their lives on September 9, 2020 as a huge fire ripped through the camp of Moria, the country’s largest and most notorious migrant facility. Over 12,000 men, women and children ran in panic out of containers and tents and into adjoining olive groves and fields as the fire destroyed most of the overcrowded, squalid camp. The blaze started just hours after the migration ministry said that 35 people had tested positive at the camp. (Photo by ANGELOS TZORTZINIS / AFP)

ATHENS, Greece (AFP) — 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.

© Agence France-Presse