Fire in Bosnian migrant shelter injures 29
AFP, Saturday 1 Jun 2019


A fire in a shelter for migrants in northwest Bosnia on Saturday left 29 people hurt either from burns or injuries after they jumped from windows to escape the flames, authorities said.

The blaze, whose cause was not yet known, broke out after dawn in the privately-run facility in the town of Velika Kladusa, said Ale Siljdedic, spokesman for the regional interior ministry.

"We know at this time that there are 29 wounded, but we don't know the extent of the injuries," he said.

Around 500 migrants were in the shelter at the time, he said. The fire may have been an accident as those sleeping tried to warm themselves against an unusually cold period, he said.

It was the second blaze in recent weeks to hit a place where migrants were staying in Bosnia.

Three weeks ago, three migrants died when a candle they were using set fire to the abandoned building they were in, according to Indira Kulenovic, a manager for Bosnia operations of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent.

Since early 2018 Bosnia has found itself on the "Balkans route" used by migrants seeking to enter EU countries. Around 3,500 migrants are housed in eight shelters, mostly in the northwest, close to the border with EU member Croatia.

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