A boy has died in a fire at the Thiva camp for asylum seekers north of Athens. He was seven or eight years old and reportedly from a Kurdish family.
Overnight on Tuesday (February 23), firefighters were called to the Thiva camp, 54 kilometers from Athens, after a fire broke out in a container building housing migrants. The fire service said that a young child of seven or eight years old was not breathing by the time they reached the camp.
Eight firefighters and four fire engines were needed to bring the fire under control.
The fire service said that migrants initially prevented them from reaching the site, throwing rocks at firefighters and blocking the access road, the dpa news agency reported. According to the fire service, the migrants were angry that the fire brigade had taken too long.
It is not known what started the blaze, but authorities believe that it may have been caused by a cooking fire.
They said that a family of eleven from Iran had been living in the container, dpa reported. According to a report from Kurdish website Pishti News, published on the Greek news site efsyn.gr, the boy was from a Kurdish family.
The Thiva (Thebes) camp has a capacity of 900 and currently houses around 800 asylum seekers, dpa reports.
Fires in migrant camps lead to accidents
It was the latest in a series of fires at migrant camps in different parts of Greece.
A tent caught fire last week at the Lesbos Reception and Identification Centre ('Kara Tepe') camp, though no one was reported to have been injured.
The medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) tweeted: "Such fires are no longer a surprise. EU, 6 months ago you said 'no more Moria', but what we see is more or less the same. This must stop now! Enough!"
A psychologist at MSF also criticized the living conditions and the lack of facilities to heat the tents during winter, dpa reports. This was the reason that people at Kara Tepe were using small stoves and burning coal, which is a fire hazard, she told the news portal T-Online.
According to dpa, most cookers at Kara Tepe use gas, which has often led to fire accidents in the past.
With AFP, dpa