Three-year-old dies in fire at Roma camp in Italy
Italian media report a three-year-old Roma child has burned to death in a fire at a camp in Rome and his four-month-old cousin has suffered serious burn injuries. Investigators say the fire was not set intentionally and was an unfortunate accident.
The injured child has been burned over 40 % of his body. Firefighters intervened just after midnight local time to put out the fire. The identity of the afflicted family has not been confirmed; the father reportedly identified himself as a foreigner. Media report the family are Roma from Romania.
The fire destroyed at least four dwellings in a camp not far from Rome’s Expo, where hundreds of Romanian Roma live in 40 shacks and caravans. The mother and father of the children also suffered slight burn injuries.
Investigators say the cause of the fire was an unfortunate accident. The fire was evidently set by a candle or cigarette. They do not believe it was intentionally set.
According to official data, up to 7 200 Roma live in the Italian metropolis in 100 camps. Humanitarian organizations believe the real number is almost twice that.
City authorities are preparing a project to relocate up to 6 000 of these people into 13 camps on the outskirts of the city. City representatives responsible for Roma issues said the illegal camp in which this accident occurred was closed once before. Bulldozers are now being sent there to raze the rest of the camp to the ground and buses will transport the Roma temporarily into municipal buildings. They will then be accommodated in a new camp run by the authorities.