“39 asylum seekers evacuated from Bibby Stockholm barge after Legionella bug discovery”

By | August 13, 2023

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According to reports, council officials informed the Home Office that Legionella bacteria had been found on the Bibby Stockholm barge three days prior to the evacuation of 39 asylum seekers. Tests conducted by Dorset Council revealed traces of the potentially deadly bacteria in the water system. The council claims to have informed the contractors operating the barge and a Home Office official about the discovery. An urgent meeting was held, and the evacuation of the boat was ordered for the water system to be cleaned. The Home Office has stated that the health and welfare of the asylum seekers remain a top priority. By Vanessa Allen reported

Last night, it was alleged that officials from the council had reported the presence of the Legionella bacteria on the Bibby Stockholm barge three days before the evacuation of 39 asylum seekers took place. These individuals were relocated on Friday after the potentially fatal bacteria was discovered in the water system. The environmental health department of Dorset Council conducted tests for Legionella on July 25, with the results only being received on August 7, after the arrival of the first migrants. The council claims that they informed the barge contractors on the same day, notifying them of the traces of Legionella found. Additionally, a Home Office official was verbally informed by the council the following day. The responsibility of keeping the Home Office informed of such matters lies with the barge operators and the council states that decisions regarding who is allowed on board are made by the operators and the Home Office, based on advice from partners. An emergency meeting was held on Thursday, resulting in the evacuation of the boat in order to clean out the water system. According to the Telegraph, Home Office officials only informed ministers of the situation on Thursday evening. A spokesman from the Home Office emphasized the priority placed on the health and well-being of asylum seekers and stated that they had been relocated as a precautionary measure, with all necessary protocols and advice being followed. The Bibby Stockholm, a three-storey vessel with 222 bedrooms that can accommodate up to 506 people, is at the center of this incident. There are reports that ministers are considering using barges, offices, and student accommodation blocks to house more asylum seekers, with several potential sites already identified..

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