Hundreds of refugees have disappeared after they were evacuated from a camp in northern France due to a fire on Monday night , while amazingly none are believed to have died
French Officials spent Tuesday trying to find new shelter for the estimated 1,500 people who had been displaced. Officials are concerned about the safety of the displaced lone children.
During a brief visit to the site, the French interior minister, Matthias Fekl, said the government would not allow it to be rebuilt. The housing minister, Emmanuelle Cosse, said more permanent shelter would be found in centres around the country over the next few days.
It is feared that the destruction of the country’s only official migrant camp will result in asylum seekers returning to sleeping rough along the coast near the Channel ports
“Some 500 were taken to three local gyms, including one set aside for children and families, but most of the other migrants remained unaccounted for”, the mayor and prefect said.
Charities made an urgent appeal for donations to help people made homeless by the fire. There was particular concern about the fate of around 120 unaccompanied children, many of whom had been staying at the camp as they tried to travel to the UK to be reunited with family members.
Corenne Torre, the head of Doctors Without Borders in France, said 900 people had been evacuated to safe shelters, including local gyms, but about 600 remained unaccounted for: “We just don’t know where they are.”
“We lost everything, clothes, mobile phones, some people lost documents,” Allahnoor Safi said from Bagram .
The 29-year-old office manager said he left his home last year because of a problem with the Taliban. “We were very frightened [of the fire]. Everyone was running.”
Despite its dramatic scale, no one was thought to have been killed by the fire which broke out late.Some were taken to temporary shelter at a sports hall in the nearby town of Grande-Synthe, but charities were struggling to account for all of them.