Victims of Schiphol fire commemorated

26th October 2010, Comments 0 comments


Some 40 people attended a commemoration ceremony at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport on Tuesday evening for the 11 people who died in what's known as the Schiphol Fire. As public interest in the memorial is diminishing, it has been decided that this year's ceremony will be the last official one to remember the victims.

On the night of 26 October 26 2005, a fire broke out in a detention centre for illegal immigrants in the eastern wing of Schiphol. As a result of the blaze, 11 of them died of suffocation, some 15 were injured and many of the survivors were traumatised. A Libyan man was later charged and sentenced to 18 months for inadvertently starting the fire when he didn't extinguish his cigarette properly.

The 2005 fire has been investigated by four different official bodies. A report by the Dutch Safety Board was particularly harsh for the government's role in the fire. Many people would still be alive had the correct safety precautions been in place, the report concluded.

Today's ceremony officially started at the town hall in Hoofddorp, close to Schiphol. The deputy mayor addressed the some hundred people who had gathered at the town hall to light candles in memory of the victims.

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