ATHENS: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday expressed shock and pledged to improve conditions in migrant camps after a fire killed two people and badly burned two more on the island of Lesbos.
“I am shocked, as are all Greeks, by this tragic incident,” Tsipras said during a visit to the north of the country.
“The Greek government… will intensify efforts for safety and quality of life at hospitality centers,” Tsipras said, referring to the country’s camps.
Hours earlier, a 66-year-old Iraqi Kurd and her six-year-old grandson died from the apparent explosion of a cooking gas canister inside their tent at the camp of Moria.
The boy’s mother and four-year-old sibling suffered life-threatening burns and were airlifted to Athens.
In an apparent act of rage, migrants then set fire to part of the camp, causing significant damage, police said.
Ensuing clashes between migrants and police left six migrants slightly injured, while several more were taken to Lesbos hospital with lesser burns and respiratory problems.
Some migrants fled the camp after the blast but later returned and calm was restored, a police source said.
Several fires—not all accidental—have erupted in refugee camps on the Greek islands, where some 16,000 people became stranded after the European Union signed a deal that was aimed at stemming the influx of migrants.
Moria has a capacity for 3,500 people but currently houses more than 5,000.
Part of the camp was badly damaged in a fire on September 19 during clashes between migrants and police, and thousands had to be moved out before returning two days later.
Nearly 66,000 refugees and migrants are currently stranded in Greece, according to official figures. AFP