According to news reports, the personnel of Schipol airport ignored people's cries for help
The fire, which broke out at Schiphol airport at a detention center for people awaiting deportation from the Netherlands, has killed at least eleven detainees. The blaze began shortly after midnight and was brought under control several hours later. The building, completed in late 2002, had already been the scene of fire shortly after it opened. A number of detainees say that staff initially failed to react to their shouts for help. The authorities have launched an independent inquiry into the precise cause of the blaze.
The detention centre is used to house illegal immigrants pending their deportation, suspected drug smugglers, and people who have been refused entry to the Netherlands. The 43 detainees in the affected part of the complex were housed in 24 two-person cells, around half of which were directly affected by the blaze.
Hundreds of cocaine smugglers, mostly from the Caribbean and Curacao, are detained at the airport every year as immigrants caught trying to enter the country illegally. Prison cell capacity was greatly expanded in 2002. Prisoners were taken to other facilities in nearby cities or moved elsewhere within the complex, the AP said.
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