Archive for Friday, October 28, 2005

Fire kills 11 immigrants awaiting deportation

October 28, 2005

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— A fire raged Thursday through a prison complex near Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, killing 11 illegal aliens awaiting deportation and raising questions about whether the Dutch government sacrificed safety standards in a crackdown on immigration.

The nationalities of the dead were not immediately released.

The Dutch Council for Refugees, an advocacy group, said it was the prison's third fire since it was built during a rapid expansion of detention facilities in 2002. Nobody was hurt in the previous fires.

Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner said the prison recently passed a fire safety inspection, but he ordered the Safety Investigation Council to open an independent investigation.

The fire started in a cell just after midnight and quickly spread, raging for three hours. Fifteen people were injured, including firefighters and airport police. Four people were hospitalized.

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