PARIS: A huge fire broke out shortly after midnight at the refugee camp known as the ‘Jungle’ in Calais, France.
The fire is not thought to be related to the horrific terror events in Paris despite unsubstantiated claims that the fire was started by activists angered by the migrants presence in France.
No casualties have been reported from the site, where hundreds of migrants have been living in difficult conditions after making their long and dangerous journey to Europe.
Over 2,500 metres of tents and shelters were burnt down in the fierce blaze which was believed to have been caused by an electrical wire.
The fire appears to have centred in the southeastern health camp, where as many as 4,500 migrants have been living.
Gas cylinders in the packed camps reportedly exploded as they were consumed by the flames as fire fighters battled the flames.
The strong wind is believed to have further added to the ferocity of the flames before it was eventually put out.
The news comes as German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted Europe ‘will manage’ the migrant crisis despite the continent’s continual struggle with heavy influx of refugees in recent months.
She has made little headway persuading Germany’s European Union partners to share the burden.
Over recent days, her governing coalition squabbled over a plan to give many Syrians a restricted asylum status that wouldn’t allow them to bring relatives to Germany for two years.
The program was announced by the interior minister apparently behind the chancellery’s back, and quickly shelved, but then backed by prominent conservatives.
The chancellor appears to be inching toward more restrictive policies without dropping her broadly positive approach.