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Migrants moved from the Bibby Stockholm after just four days


All onboard migrants wer3 evacuated from the Bibby Stockholm this week, and will be kept in a hotel for a week after legionella bacteria was found in the barge's water system.

A total of 39 asylum seekers were removed from the vessel - just four days after the first 15 men stepped onto it in Portland, Dorset - and will now be temporarily housed in a hotel for the next seven days.

Routine tests of the barge's water supply were reportedly carried out on July 25 but the results only came back when asylum seekers began boarding the barge on Monday, according to Sky News. The results showed levels of legionella bacteria 'which require further investigation'.

Home Office sources said they were not made aware of the results until Wednesday, with further tests being carried out on Thursday.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) advised the Government on Thursday evening to remove all six people that arrived on the Bibby Stockholm that day, but the Home Office decided to evacuate all 39 to a hotel as a precaution.

This is despite the barge being bought in by the Government to reduce the £6million daily bill for hotels housing asylum seekers.

Although nobody onboard had shown symptoms of the disease, officials insisted that all migrants be disembarked while further assessments are carried out.

A Dorset Council spokesman said: 'Dorset Council's environmental health team and Public Health Dorset are advising the Home Office and its contractors, alongside the UK Health Security Agency and NHS Dorset, following notification of positive samples of Legionella bacteria in the water system on the Bibby Stockholm barge.

'No individuals have presented symptoms of Legionnaires' disease, and there is no health risk to the wider community of Portland.'

It is understood that the Home Office is managing the search for alternative accommodation for the asylum seekers.