Afghan woman killed in fire at Greek migrant camp

Agence France-Presse . Athens | Published: 22:26, Dec 05,2019


A 27-year-old Afghan woman burned to death when the container in which she lived in a migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos caught fire, police said Thursday.

The fire that killed the mother of three broke out around 2.00 am local time (00:00 GMT) at the Karatepe camp, near the island’s main port of Mytilene, police said.

The victim’s husband managed to get the three children out of the container before he fainted trying to safe his wife, public television ERT reported.

It also said that the fire is believed to have been caused by the explosion of a gas bottle used for heating.

The Karatepe camp is home to some 1,324 people, many of them vulnerable families, according to NGOs.

The accident happened just a few hours before the European commissioners for migration, Margaritis Schinas and Ylva Johansson, arrived in Athens for meetings about the migrant crisis in Greece.

‘The situation is very urgent and we must find a solution,’ said Johansson after talks with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Ana news agency reported.

Greece this year became the main port of entry to Europe for asylum seekers coming from neighbouring Turkey.

More than 37,000 migrants are in the camps on four Greek islands, far exceeding their capacity for 6,300 people.

Athens, which has recently made the procedure for asylum harder, has promised to transfer some 20,000 people from the island camps to the continent.

Greece continues to demand that other countries of the European Union share in the responsibility for asylum seekers. It also wants a new plan to send migrants who do not qualify for asylum back to Turkey.

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