A man firebombed an immigration facility at the Port of Dover in Kent with several molotov cocktails, according to police. The facility has seen its share of anti-immigration protests through the years. File photo by Will Oliver/EPA-EFE
Oct. 31 (UPI) -- A man firebombed an immigration facility with several molotov cocktails in Southeast England over the weekend before fleeing the scene and taking his own life at a nearby gas station, according to police.
The incident happened around 11 a.m. Sunday at the Port of Dover in Kent when the driver of a white SUV pulled up to the Border Force immigrant processing center and hurled three gas-filled plastic bottles at the building, witnesses said.
Two people inside at the time reportedly suffered minor injuries but no other casualties have been reported.
Police said the man had taped fireworks to the bottles before lighting the crude flammables and lobbing them from his car window as he sped by.
One of the devices failed to detonate but the other two burst into flames, causing damage that appeared to be limited to one exterior wall of the building.
Images from the scene show emergency crews dousing the final remnants of flames with a handheld fire extinguisher while a haze of white smoke rose from the ashes.
Moments earlier, police blocked roads, cordoned off the area, and formed a perimeter in search of the suspect who was found dead at a gas station near the Viaduct in Dover.
Authorities did not immediately reveal the man's identity nor how he died, however they do believe he acted alone. Detectives searched the man's vehicle and found another explosive device, which had to be collected by a special bomb disposal unit.
There was no immediate indication of a motive, although police do not believe the attack to be terror-related. Notably, 1,000 migrants have been processed at the "well-known facility" after arriving over the weekend via the English Channel Tunnel, which connects Great Britain to the European mainland.
Some prominent voices expressed concerns that influential politicians in the country have been increasingly promoting hate speech and anti-immigrant sentiments to the public.
"We are seeing an escalation in hate on social media and threats against our volunteers," said Clare Moseley, founder of the Care4Calais campaign. "The rhetoric from this government's ministers is shocking and divisive."
"It's an absolutely dreadful situation that we have now at Dover," she added. "I understand that all the people who are at the center are being looked after and precautions are being made for their safety."