Major Fire Rocks Planned Asylum Center

A major fire has damaged a building slated for conversion into an asylum center in Bilzen, Belgium, according to reports.

Police believe a blaze at the former retirement home was the product of arson.

There were no casualties, but the structure suffered "considerable" damage.

"Migration Minister Maggie De Block decided earlier to turn it into a temporary asylum center from mid-December, due to a shortage of beds," Het Laatste Nieuws reports. "In the past weeks there have been two protests against the possible arrival of 140 asylum seekers."

It is now unclear whether the center will be ready to welcome migrants by the planned December 15th opening.

"We are currently charting the damage and the consequences for the planned opening are not yet known," the Belgian Red Cross said in a statement. “In the coming hours and days, we will consult with the city council, the owner of the building, Fedasil and the minister (Maggie De Block, ed.) to make agreements about the repair works that are needed to make the building operational again as quickly as possible."

The Red Cross says asylum centers are already filled to capacity, and overflow facilities are needed.

"We are working with Fedasil to provide an answer to the growing need for reception places in our country, which is due to a longer asylum procedure, which means that the outflow of the number of asylum seekers is very low," the organization said.

"As a result, hundreds of new reception places are needed every month to provide everyone with shelter and basic necessities such as meals, sanitation and clothing."

Authorities in Ghent, Belgium, recently announced the re-opening of a pontoon-based 'asylum center' to accommodate overflow migrants, as Infowars Europe reported.

The number of people seeking asylum in Europe is up 10 percent from 2018, according to figures compiled by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).

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Dan Lyman:
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About Dan Lyman

Dan Lyman serves as a foreign correspondent for Infowars.
  • Europe