Police in Wellington, New Zealand are treating a deadly fire at a hostel in the capital city as an arson attack. The blaze erupted at the building on Saturday morning, killing at least three people and injuring several others.
The fire began in an area of the building that housed a number of people, some of whom were refugees. Authorities are reportedly treating the incident as a hate crime, as two of the victims were of Middle Eastern descent.
Police have launched a major investigation into the cause of the fire but have yet to identify any suspects. Fire crews were able to contain the blaze and search for survivors, but the hostel was left completely destroyed.
The tragedy has shocked the city and prompted an outpouring of grief from the public. The New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, visited the scene of the fire and expressed her condolences to those affected.
The tragedy has prompted an outpouring of support for the victims, with many people donating money and supplies to a relief fund set up for those affected. The investigation into the cause of the blaze is ongoing.