Neighbors shocked by arson asylum seekers hotel; New center to open at Zoutkamp barracks
On Monday morning, there was a fire at hotel ‘t Elshuis in Albergen - the hotel designated by the Cabinet to become a new asylum center. No one got hurt, and the damage seems to be limited. The police are investigating whether arson was involved. Another temporary emergency shelter will open at the Zoutkamp barracks.
The fire was discovered at around 6:15 a.m. A police spokesperson told RTV Oost that a bush was burning right next to the building. Local residents were shocked by the incident. “I didn’t see this coming,” a neighbor said to the broadcaster. “Of course, you know there are online comments about possibly inciting arson, but I did not think it would go this far.”
De mogelijke brandstichting bij Hotel ‘t Elshuys wordt onderzocht door Forensische Opsporing. Duidelijk zichtbaar aan de zijkant van het band is een spoor van zwartgeblakerde tegels. Mogelijk van een brandende vloeistof (1/2) #rtvoost pic.twitter.com/7aaErUGXi9— Teun van der Velden (@teunvdvelden) August 29, 2022
The municipality of Tubbergen refused to comment on the incident yet.
Later on Monday, the court in Almelo will handle a lawsuit between the owner of the hotel and the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA). The COA bought the hotel, and the government designated it to become an asylum center. The owners are now trying to back out of the sale, saying that it was based on “deception and error,” and the COA didn’t say it was going to use the building to shelter asylum seekers. The COA said it was clear about its intentions for the building from the start.
The Ministry of Justice and Security announced that the Zoutkamp barracks in the municipality of Het Hogeland in Groningen would be turned into an emergency shelter location for asylum seekers. The location is intended to take in asylum seekers for whom there’s no space at the asylum registration center in Ter Apel, RTV Noord reported.
The temporary shelter will have space for between 500 and 700 people. It will be located on the terrain across from the barracks, on the other side of the N361.