UN seeks access to migrants injured in Yemen blaze

SANAA (AFP) – The United Nations (UN) migration agency has urged rebels who control the Yemeni capital Sanaa to provide access to dozens of African migrants who were seriously injured in a weekend hostel fire.

The Sunday blaze at an overcrowed holding facility in Sanaa killed an unconfirmed number of migrants and injured more than 170, over half of them seriously, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

“As many migrants are in a critical condition, meeting their health needs must be an urgent priority,” IOM Middle East and North Africa Director Carmela Godeau said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We are facing challenges accessing the injured due to an increased security presence in the hospitals,” she said.

“Humanitarians and health workers must be given access to support the treatment of those affected by the fire.”

There has still been no word from the Huthi rebel authorities on what caused Sunday’s fire or how many people it killed.

The IOM said more than 350 migrants, most of them from Ethiopia, were in a hangar area where the fire broke out.