Fire partially destroys Patras migrant camp

Aid workers yesterday distributed hundreds of sleeping bags to immigrants at a makeshift camp near the western port of Patras after a large fire on Wednesday night destroyed a third of the settlement. It was unclear what had caused the blaze, which burnt hundreds of shacks but caused no injuries. Local authority officials said works to build a reception center for the migrants in nearby Rio would be accelerated and unaccompanied minors transfered to hostels in the meantime. Employees of Medecins sans Frontieres, who have been helping some 2,000 migrants at the camp for years, set up a tent to provide medical support. «We are deeply concerned about the critical condition of these desperate people,» said Giorgos Karagiannis, head of MSF’s local mission. The migrants are chiefly Afghans who try to board ferries to Italy illegally.