One killed, three injured in fire in Jordan's Zaatari refugee camp

One killed, three injured in fire in Jordan's Zaatari refugee camp
One person was killed and three others injured when a fire broke out at the Zaatari refugee camp home to tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, Jordan's Public Security Directorate said.
2 min read
28 April, 2023
The Zaatari refugee camp is home to some 82,000 Syrian refugees [Getty]

One person died and three others were injured on Thursday in a fire at Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp, according to the country’s Public Security Directorate.

The deceased, whose age and identity have not been announced, died as a result of their burn injuries, directorate spokesperson Amr al-Sartawi said.

"The firefighting and ambulance cadres in the Mafraq Civil Defense Directorate dealt with a fire that broke out in two caravans (mobile homes) this morning (Thursday) inside the Zaatari camp," a statement from the spokesperson read.

The injured were taken to Amman’s Al-Aoun Hospital for treatment, according to the statement.

In videos shared online, thick, dark smoke could be seen billowing from the affected mobile homes as onlookers gasp in horror.

The directorate said an investigation had been opened into the cause of the fire.

The Zaatari refugee camp is located around 10 kilometres away from the Syria-Jordan border, in the Mafraq district of northeastern Jordan.

Opened in 2012, it was the first refugee camp for Syrians established in Jordan to shelter those fleeing war in Syria sparked by Bashar al-Assad's brutal crackdown on protesters.

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The camp gradually evolved into a permanent settlement, and has become one of the biggest camps worldwide for Syrians displaced from their homes.

The camp hosts approximately 82,000 Syrian refugees, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Around 1.3 million Syrian refugees live in Jordan, making them the second-biggest refugee group in the country after Palestinians.

More than half on Syrian refugees in Jordan live in poverty and are food-insecure, according to non-profit groups.

Syrians in the country mostly occupy low-paying, labour-intensive jobs such as construction work.

Jordan last year encouraged the voluntary return of refugees to their home country, despite human rights groups warning of the dangers they may face upon return.

Syrians themselves have expressed fears of potential torture and abuse if they are made to return.