AFP
Last updated: 6 July, 2012

Two dead in Syrian refugee camp blaze

A fire in a camp for Syrian refugees in southern Turkey killed two people and left six others injured on Friday, the Anatolia news agency reported, saying a short-circuit was the probable cause.

The blaze occurred in Yayladagi camp in southern Turkey’s Hatay province, near the border with Syria, which houses 260 refugees under canvas, the agency said.

It quoted Hatay provincial governor Celalettin Lekesiz as saying the dead were a man of 24 and his wife aged 19. The six injured were treated in hospital and discharged.

Lekesiz said the fire destroyed a warehouse building, adding that an electrical fault was thought to be to blame.

“Camp residents I spoke to told me they saw a ball of flame shoot out of a circuit board and hit an empty tent, setting fire to foam mattresses,” he said.

Television pictures showed thick columns of smoke rising and firefighters and refugees battling the flames.

Turkey has given shelter in 10 camps along its border to more than 35,500 Syrians who have fled the conflict as President Bashar al-Assad’s regime tries to crush a popular uprising against his rule.