NEWS

Refugee woman’s death at Lesvos camp caused by gas canister blast

TAGS: Fire

An exploding cooking gas canister caused the death of a 27-year-old mother of three at the Kara Tepe refugee camp on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos on Thursday, the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) reported.

According to officials cited by the ANA-MPA, the gas canister exploded after overheating in a fire that started before dawn from a heating unit inside the Afghan family’s housing unit.

The woman’s 28-year-old husband managed to rescue their three children – a newborn, a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old – but fainted as a result of the fumes when he tried save his wife.

The Kara Tepe camp is host to 1,324 refugees, most of whom are families with young children.

Gas canisters have been banned at the UNHCR-run camp, as they are considered a fire and health risk.

Mobile heating units are also discouraged, though the air-conditioning systems placed in the camp’s housing units by the UN refugee agency often struggle to cope with demand during the cold winter months, as the camp is not connected to the central electricity grid and relies on two generators.

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