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Asylum Seeker Dies On Bibby Stockholm Barge

2 min read

An asylum seeker has died onboard the Bibby Stockholm in Dorset, the barge used by the government to accommodate hundreds of asylum seekers.

Two ambulances and three police cars were reportedly seen outside the barge on Tuesday morning. Dorset Police confirmed there had been an incident.

The people accommodated onboard had previously been evacuated earlier this year due to an outbreak of legionella disease, but then returned to the vessel in October.

In parliament on Tuesday afternoon ahead of a debate on the government's emergency Rwanda legislation, home secretary James Cleverly confirmed reports of a death aboard the vessel. 

"The House may well be aware that, tragically, there has been a death on the Bibby Stockholm barge," said Cleverly. 

"I'm sure that the thoughts of the whole house, like mine, are with those affected.

"The House will understand that, at this stage I'm uncomfortable going into any more details. But we will, of course, investigate fully."

Steve Smith, CEO of refugee charity Care4Calais, said: "Our thoughts are with the person who has lost their life, their family and their friends. It is also with all those stuck on board the Bibby Stockholm who will be experiencing a deep feeling of grief and worry today.

"The UK Government must take responsibility for this human tragedy. They have wilfully ignored the trauma they are inflicting on people who are sent to the Bibby Stockholm, and the hundreds being accommodated in former military barracks.

"They are being separated from the rest of society and we have witnessed a serious deterioration of people’s mental health. We have regularly been reporting suicidal intentions amongst residents and no action is taken."

He accused the "government’s proxy-war against refugees" of "costing lives".

Labour leader Keir Starmer told reporters on Tuesday that while he did not know the details of the incident, his thoughts were with the person's loved ones.

"My heart goes out to the family and friends of an individual who has lost their life," he said.

If you need support or are worried about someone else, you can call Samaritans for free on 116 123, email them at jo@samaritans.org, or visit samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.

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