The flames were visible from several miles away. The site became uninhabitable. Officials believe the fire was the result of arson. During a brief visit to the site, the French interior minister, Matthias Fekl, said the government would not allow it to be rebuilt. Around 600 migrants are missing, after 900 people were evacuated to safe shelters including local gyms. “We just don’t know where they are,” Corenne Torre, head of the humanitarian group in France, said. No one was thought to have been killed by the fire but a number of men were injured in the violences. One migrant was knocked over by a car on a highway outside the camp and was in a critical condition, police said.
Charities made an urgent appeal for donations to help people made homeless by the fire. There was particular concern about the fate of around 120 unaccompanied children, many of whom had been staying at the camp as they tried to travel to the UK to be reunited with family members.