Police arrest 20 migrants over Marsa centre fire

Police arrest culprits who ignited Marsa open centre dormitory that led to evacuation of more than 400 migrants and workers

Heavy police presence outside the open centre on Wednesday afternoon
Heavy police presence outside the open centre on Wednesday afternoon

The police have arrested 20 people, who they believe were behind the fire that engulfed a main dormitory at the Marsa initial reception centre on Wednesday afternoon.

Initial investigations revealed that a number of migrants residing at the centre started smashing the main dormitory, with flames engulfing the room just a few moments later, the police said. The flames then engulfed the gym.

The Marsa centre houses more than 400 migrants.

Police were called in at 1pm and with the help of centre officials evacuated the building until Civil Protection Department personnel put out the flames.

The police said that with the helpd of centre officials they identified 20 individuals who were involved in the incident. The men were taken to the police depot in Floriana for further interrogation. They are currently in custody.

Thick smoke could be seen coming out of the Marsa centre from various locations around Malta.

The police said that a medical team assisted 11 centre workers and three migrants after they inhaled smoke. No one was taken to hospital.

Magistrate Victor Axiak is conducting an inquiry.

Police investigations are ongoing.

READ ALSO: Nine treated for smoke inhalation after fire engulfs Marsa open centre

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