News World Asylum seekers moved after Manus Island fire

Asylum seekers moved after Manus Island fire

Damage to the accomodation on Manus Island. ABC/Anthea Falkenberg
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Immigration authorities in Papua New Guinea have relocated 120 asylum seekers after a fire broke out in their accommodation on Manus Island.

An official said the fire started at 3pm yesterday in the common room at the Hillside House accommodation.

No-one was injured but the blaze damaged the building’s electricity wiring, and the residents were moved to the nearby West House accommodation facility.

Police on Manus Island are investigating whether a resident started the fire.

One of the residents – who wished to remain anonymous – said he and a number of men had refused to move and were staying at Hillside House without power, food and water.

Immigration authorities said electricians were at the site today repairing the damage so the men could move back in.

Roughly 600 refugees and asylum seekers remain on Manus Island under an offshore processing arrangement between PNG and Australia.

The men at Hillside House are those whose asylum claims have been rejected.

They have been told they must return to their countries of origin or they will be deported.