Sweden: 15 people injured in overnight fire at large refugee centre outside of Vanersborg – Published 26 Feb 2017 1718z (GMT/UTC)

Swedish police say at least 15 people have been injured when a fire broke out overnight at one of the country’s largest refugee centers outside of Vanersborg in southwestern Sweden. Police spokesman Tommy Nyman says two people were taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries after jumping out of a second-floor window to escape the blaze and 15 people in all were treated for smoke inhalation. He said police received the alarm at 4:15 a.m. Sunday and all 158 people in the building were evacuated. Firefighters extinguished the flames. The cause of the fire was not immediately known. Nyman said police would open an investigation.

RSOE February 26 2017 04:55 PM (UTC).

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Europe: Denmark has suspended all rail links with Germany & closed a motorway, due to asylum seekers – Published 10 Sept 2015 1414z (GMT/UTC)

Denmark has suspended all rail links with Germany after police stopped hundreds of migrants at the border. Danish police also closed a motorway between the two countries when some asylum seekers began walking north after being forced off a train. They say their destination is Sweden.

As the EU struggles with a major migrant crisis, the European Commission has proposed that 120,000 additional asylum seekers should be shared out between members, using binding quotas.

Denmark’s DSB rail operator said trains to and from Germany had been suspended for an indefinite period because of exceptional passport checks.

Two trains carrying more than 200 migrants are being held in Rodby, a major port with ferry links to Germany. Danish police say many migrants are refusing to leave the trains because they do not want to be registered in Denmark.

Police also closed part of the E45 motorway – the main road link between Germany and Denmark – after about 300 migrants left another train and set off on foot towards Sweden near the border town of Padborg.

Sweden has become a top destination for refugees after it promised to issue residency papers to all Syrian asylum seekers. Denmark’s new centre-right government has promised to get tough on immigration.

Since its election in June it has slashed benefits for new arrivals and restricted the right to residency. About 3,000 migrants have entered the country since the weekend. Prime Minister Lars Lokke-Rasmussen said Denmark was under pressure as asylum seekers arrive on their way to Sweden.

“This clearly shows that what we are facing right now is not only a refugee problem, it is also a migration problem,” he said. A surge of migrants fleeing conflict and hardship in Africa and the Middle East has pushed north through Europe over the past few weeks.

Many of those escaping the civil war in Syria have travelled from Turkey across the sea to Greece, through Macedonia and Serbia, and then to Hungary from where they aim to reach northern Europe.

On Wednesday European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans for a “swift, determined and comprehensive” response through a quota system.

In a “state of the union” annual address, he said tackling the crisis was “a matter of humanity and human dignity”. “It’s 160,000 refugees in total that Europeans have to take into their arms and I really hope that this time everyone will be on board,” Mr Juncker told the European Parliament. The new plans would relocate 60% of those now in Italy, Greece and Hungary to Germany, France and Spain.

The numbers allocated to each country would depend on GDP, population, unemployment rate and asylum applications already processed. Countries refusing to take in migrants could face financial penalties.

Thursday, 10 September, 2015 at 03:18 (03:18 AM) UTC RSOE

Sweden: 17 struck by lightning at Peace and Love Music Festival – Published 27 June 2012 1340 GMT/UTC

Seventeen people have been taken to a hospital after being struck by lightning at Sweden’s Peace and Love Music Festival.

Festival organizers set up a makeshift care center to begin transporting people to a local health facility near Borlänge, Central Sweden.

“First we saw a lightning flash and then we heard a really loud clap of thunder. The next thing we knew, the ambulances had come”

says witness Amanda Andersen to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper (quote via The Local).

Lightning struck the grounds around 3PM on Tuesday, just as the summer concert series was beginning. Rihanna, Mumford and Sons, Regina Spektor, Skrillex, Bloc Party and Billy Idol are just a few of the big-name performers.

The people involved have reportedly received only minor injuries, with most “up and walking.”

Wednesday, 27 June, 2012 at 03:25 (03:25 AM) UTC RSOE