Home / BBC News / Swedish asylum shelter in Vanersborg hit by blaze

Swedish asylum shelter in Vanersborg hit by blaze

Residents of the shelter evacuated to a local gymImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Residents were evacuated to a local gym

Up to 20 people have been hurt in a fire at a shelter for asylum seekers in Sweden, officials say.

Two residents were badly injured jumping from windows of the building in Vanersborg, about 80km (50 miles) north of Gothenburg.

The cause of the fire is unknown though police have opened an arson inquiry.

Sweden is still debating controversial comments last week by US President Donald Trump on crimes related to its immigration policies.

The fire broke out on the third floor of one of the buildings at the Restad Farm shelter shortly after 04:00 local time (03:00 GMT).

Most of those hurt in the fire suffered minor injuries or smoke inhalation but two were taken to hospital.

The fire was quickly extinguished and the building cordoned off as an investigation got under way.

Figures from May 2016 said about 1,200 people were living in the accommodation.

Some 160 people lived in the affected building, the Goteborgs-Posten reported, and they were evacuated to a local gym.

Fox segment

On 18 February, President Trump referred to Sweden in a speech on immigration problems, baffling Swedes about a non-existent incident.

Media caption“Sweden, they took in large numbers,” Donald Trump tells a crowd of supporters

He suggested Sweden could face the kind of terrorist attacks that have hit France, Belgium and Germany, saying: “You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this. Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”

He later tweeted that his statement “was in reference to a story that was broadcast on FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden”.

Some people suggested Mr Trump might have been referring to a clip aired on Fox News on the night before of a documentary about alleged violence committed by refugees in Sweden.

Sweden, with a population of about 9.5 million, saw a sharp increase in asylum seekers in 2015, with more than 162,000 people claiming asylum.

With the influx, tensions also rose with some isolated attacks on immigrants, as well as pro- and anti-migrant demonstrations.

There have been no terror attacks in Sweden since the country’s open-door policy on migration began in 2013.

Migrant crisis dominates Sweden’s politics

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