270 evacuated from Bulgaria’s Harmanli refugee centre because of fire

A fire at Bulgaria’s Harmanli refugee centre in the early hours of February 21 led to the evacuation of 270 residents, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Radio reported.

The alarm was given soon after midnight. The fire broke out in a ground-floor warehouse, the report said.

This is the second fire at the Harmanli refugee camp since the beginning of 2017. On January 31, about 500 people were evacuated because of a fire in the canteen and an adjacent part of the building.

The reason for the February 21 fire was being investigated. One theory is that it was caused by an electrical fault.

Bulgaria’s Harmanli refugee centre was the scene of an uprising in November 2016 over poor conditions and overcrowding.

Prosecutors subsequently laid criminal charges against a number of people, including citizens of Afghanistan and Iraq, in connection with arson and vandalism during the riots. Bulgarian authorities also acted to move some of the residents of the centre elsewhere.



The Sofia Globe staff

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