25 still missing after riot at refugee detention centre

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The Independent Online

Twenty-five people are still missing two weeks after fire razed a detention centre for asylum seekers, police said today, but preliminary searches have not turned up evidence that anyone died in the blaze.

Forty inmates escaped during rioting and a fire that gutted part of the Yarl's Wood detention center on February 14, but 15 were quickly recaptured.

Bedfordshire Police said today that they were beginning a detailed search of the ruined center using specialist search teams, dogs and heavy lifting gear – a process expected to take three months.

Police, the Immigration Service and Group 4, the private security firm that runs Yarl's Wood, all said they had launched inquiries into the disturbance at the center, which did not have a sprinkler system. Damage from the fire was estimated at £38m.