Friday 9 December 2016

Calais Jungle clearance to resume after tent-burning, gas explosions overnight

Published 26/10/2016 | 10:18

Police in Calais
Police in Calais

The "Jungle" migrant camp near Calais woke up to a third day of a government operation to empty and clear it on Wednesday following a night of ritual tent and shelter-burning and some gas-bottle explosions.

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A Calais prefecture official told France Info radio on Wednesday morning that one person had been slightly injured in his inner ear by one of the explosions and had been taken to hospital.

Migrants carry their belongings as they walk past burning makeshift shelters and tents in the
Migrants carry their belongings as they walk past burning makeshift shelters and tents in the "Jungle" on the third day of their evacuation and transfer to reception centers in France, as part of the dismantlement of the camp in Calais. Photo: REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
A gas bottle is seen among the flames from a makeshift shelter in the "Jungle" on the third day of their evacuation of migrants and their transfer to reception centers in France, as part of the dismantlement of the camp in Calais, France. Photo: REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Smoke rises the sky as makeshift shelters and tents burn in the "Jungle" on the third day of the evacuation of migrants and their transfer to reception centers in France, as part of the dismantlement of the camp in Calais, France. Photo: REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
A journalist works sitting in a chair next to burnt tents in a makeshift migrant camp known as the 'Jungle' near Calais, northern France. Photo: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
Migrants carry their belongings as they walk past burning makeshift shelters and tents in the "Jungle" on the third day of their evacuation and transfer to reception centers in France, as part of the dismantlement of the camp in Calais. Photo:REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Migrants warm themselves up with a fire next to their burnt tents, before leaving the makeshift migrant camp known as "the jungle" near Calais, northern France. Photo: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
A sink is seen in the charred debris from fires overnight that destroyed makeshift shelters and tents in the "Jungle" on the third day of their evacuation and transfer to reception centers in France. Photo: REUTERS/Neil Hall
A migrant runs past a burning makeshift shelters in the "Jungle" on the third day of their evacuation and transfer to reception centers in France. Photo: REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
France began the mass evacuation Monday of the makeshift migrant camp known as the 'Jungle' a mammoth project to erase the humanitarian blight on its northern border, where thousands fleeing war or poverty have lived in squalor, most hoping to sneak into Britain. Photo: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
Migrants run past a burning makeshift shelters in the "Jungle" on the third day of their evacuation and transfer to reception centers in France, as part of the dismantlement of the camp in Calais. Photo: REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Smoke rises the sky as makeshift shelters and tents burn in the "Jungle" on the third day of the evacuation of migrants and their transfer to reception centers in France, as part of the dismantlement of the camp in Calais. Photo: REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Crews in hard hats and orange jumpsuits on Tuesday started dismantling a makeshift camp in France that has become a symbol of Europe's migrant crisis while thousands of people remained there waiting to be relocated. Photo: AP
The remains of shelters smoulder after being set alight in the makeshift migrant camp known as the 'Jungle' near Calais. Photo: AP Photo
A migrant looks up to the sky as he stands next to his tent burnt in the makeshift migrant camp. Photo: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

"The operation will continue today to remove the empty shelters and to avoid them being set fire to again," a prefecture spokesman told Reuters.

Late on Tuesday, regional prefect Fabienne Buccio said it was difficult to prevent the fires.

A migrant child is put on a bus by Calais careworkers Photo: Getty
A migrant child is put on a bus by Calais careworkers Photo: Getty

"Some migrants follow traditions - we asked them not to do it - but they set ablaze their tents and their shelters when they leave," she said.

"We told them not to do it, but some...do it anyway. We are on standby, the fire brigade is in the vicinity to guarantee security and to prevent the fire from spreading. It's part of a tradition. Even if we would like them to refrain from doing it, they do it."

Migrants with their belongings queue at the start of their evacuation and transfer to reception centers in France, and the dismantlement of the camp called the
Migrants with their belongings queue at the start of their evacuation and transfer to reception centers in France, and the dismantlement of the camp called the "Jungle" in Calais, France, October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall

Migrants fleeing poverty and war outside Europe have over the past few years congregated at Calais, the main port entry to Britain from France, in the hope of finding new lives across the short stretch of sea.

They have continued to come despite the high fences built over past months to keep them from crossing.

Local opposition to the presence of over 6,000 people at the squalid and insanitary camp and criticism from right-wing politicians has stung the government into action. More than 4,000 have been bussed out to reception centres across France since Monday.

Reuters

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