Incendiary devices hurled at migrant centre in Dover before man found dead

Incendiary devices hurled at migrant centre in Dover before man found dead

Incendiary devices have been thrown at a Border Force migrant centre in Dover.

Kent Police were called at 11.22am on Sunday to The Viaduct, where two to three incendiary devices had caused a fire.

A suspect was identified and located at a nearby petrol station where he was confirmed dead, police said.

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit attended the location to ensure there were no further threats and another device was found and confirmed safe within the suspect’s vehicle, police said.

Two people inside the migrant centre reported minor injuries and the site remained open although 700 people were moved to Manston asylum processing centre in Kent for safety reasons during the initial stage of the investigation, police said.

A Reuters photographer said a man threw petrol bombs with fireworks attached before killing himself.

The attacker was described as a white man wearing a striped top, who drove up to the centre in a white Seat four-wheel drive vehicle, the agency reported.

A local MP later said the individual had taken their own life.

Dover incident
The area has been sealed off (Gareth Fuller/PA)

By the afternoon the scene had been cordoned off and forensic teams were working in the area.

The incident came after almost 1,000 migrants arrived in the UK after crossing the Channel on Saturday.

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick said in a tweet on Sunday that he had visited Manston amid growing concerns about its poor conditions.

The allegedly overcrowded facility left Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration David Neal “speechless” earlier this week.

Mr Neal told MPs that Manston was originally meant to hold between 1,000 and 1,600 people but there were 2,800 at the site when he visited on Monday, with more arriving.

A Home Office spokesman said: “We are aware of an incident at Western Jet Foil, Dover, and police are in attendance.

“It would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”

Kent Fire and Rescue Service confirmed its crews had put out fires.

Dover incident
Emergency services at the scene (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Natalie Elphicke, the Conservative MP for Dover, said she was “deeply shocked”.

She later told LBC radio: “I understand that the Dover immigration centre that is at the Port of Dover was firebombed with a number of devices, before an individual then committed suicide.”

She said the motivation of the perpetrator is so far unknown, but the centre is “a well-known facility” where small boats arrive before people are taken to the Manston.

“It’s an absolutely dreadful situation that we have now at Dover,” she added.

“I understand that all the people who are at the centre are being looked after and precautions are being made for their safety.”

Migrant Channel crossing incidents
Forensic teams were working at the scene (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Ms Elphicke also said: “I think it is fair to say that tensions have been running high over the last period.

“And indeed, I’d raised my concerns about that with the immigration minister earlier this week.”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman tweeted: “There was a distressing incident in Dover earlier today.

“I am receiving regular updates on the situation.

“My thoughts are with those affected, the tireless Home Office staff and police responding.

“We must now support those officers as they carry out their investigation.”