11 Palestinian people were killed on Thursday and over 50 others injured when wildfires broke out in a bakery at Nusseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.
Director of UNRWA operations in Gaza, Matthias Schmale, has expressed his shock at the deadly fire that broke out at the Nusairat refugee camp, in central Gaza Strip, saying the incident is a stark reminder of the crippling Israeli siege and the enclave’s rundown infrastructure.
“We are shocked at the tragic incident that took place today in Nusairat camp in Gaza, a series of explosions of gas cylinders in a bakery that took the lives of nine people and injured 54, fifteen of them in serious condition, according to the Ministry of Health”, said Schmale in a statement.
“People present at the scene described the fire that erupted and spread uncontrollably as ‘doomsday’. UNRWA runs one health centre, three schools and a distribution centre in Nusairat, so our staff were on location when the horrific incident took place”, he said.
“The fires spread so easily and were extinguished with difficulty are a stark reminder of how vulnerable Palestine refugees are in camps that often lack basic safety standards. It is also a stark reminder of the effect of thirteen years of blockade on Gaza: the firetruck that came to the site is old and shabby, the camp infrastructure is run down and the building dilapidated”, warned the UN official.
“My UNRWA colleagues and I are deeply saddened by the unnecessary loss of life and we stand in solidarity with the Palestine refugees who live in Nusairat camp. On behalf of UNRWA’s leadership, I express my deep condolences to the families who lost a loved one. We will explore over these next days how we can best support those affected through our existing services”, stated Schmale.
As many as 11 Palestinian people were killed on Thursday and over 50 others injured when wildfires broke out in a bakery at Nusseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.
According to medical sources and eye-witnesses, the fire was caused by a gas explosion at the bakery, resulting in several deaths, injuries, and heavy material destruction.
The list of casualties includes at least four children, three women and two men, along with 15 critically-injured people.
At the same time, at least three residential buildings, 22 vehicles, four cinder block factories, a bakery, two restaurants, a carpentry, 50 stalls for peddlers, and an institute for the handicapped were totally destroyed by the wildfire.
Gaza, a Palestinian enclave which covers 140 square miles (365 square km) along the Mediterranean Sea, is home to some two million people. Israel maintains a blockade of the Strip, citing security pretexts.