Death of a baby at Ter Apel asylum center under investigation
Authorities in the Netherlands were investigating the death of a baby at the country's main reception center for asylum seekers in Ter Apel. The child died during the early morning hours on Wednesday in the facility's sports hall.
"At the moment little is known about the death of the three-month-old baby. Unfortunately medical help was of no avail," the Health and Youth Care Inspectorate (IGJ) said in a statement. The office was also working with the Justice and Security Inspectorate to determine what may have lead to the baby's death.
"For example, the inspectorates will look at the medical cause, whether care was previously provided, the available care and the living conditions around the application center and in the sports hall," the IGJ said.
Overcrowding at the Ter Apel facility has frequently led to hundreds of people being forced to sleep either in chairs in waiting areas, or outdoors. A record 700 people slept outside Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. While the government has struggled to deal with the issue, the Dutch branch of the Red Cross has had to step in to help provide first aid and humanitarian aid.
Residents of the Ter Apel facility were reportedly shocked by the death of the baby, and were being offered support, a spokesperson for the asylum reception agency COA told Parool. Staff members were also shocked by the occurrence.
State Secretary Eric van der Burg, who handles the country's asylum policy, also said he was "deeply shocked" by the death. "I wish the family and staff all the best."
We zien dat het vanochtend erg druk was met EHBO-vragen. Het wordt inmiddels wat rustiger, veel mensen met klachten zijn nu al langs geweest bij het humanitaire servicepunt van @RodeKruis. Mensen komen nu ook met vragen over hun situatie. We geven hier o.a. info en verlenen EHBO pic.twitter.com/mgPasMY2uG— Iris van Deinse (@irisvandeinse) August 22, 2022
Reporting by ANP