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of the British Broadcasting Corporation



Saturday, 17 November 2007, 11:59 GMT
Ceremony marks King's Cross fire

The 20th anniversary of the King's Cross Tube fire will be marked when a wreath is laid at the station on behalf of London Underground on Sunday.

A total of 31 people died when a blaze started beneath a wooden escalator at the station on 18 November, 1987.

The fire exploded into a fireball on reaching the ticket hall and it was six hours before the fire was put out.

It was thought a smoker's dropped match started the fire and smoking was then banned across the Tube network.

Wooden escalators were also phased out on the London underground.

Final victim

A service of remembrance for the victims was held at St Pancras church and a memorial plaque was unveiled by Diana, Princess of Wales shortly after the fire.

Another plaque was erected at King's Cross station.

In February 1988, QC Desmond Fennell headed a public inquiry into the disaster. Hearings lasted until 24 June of that year and his recommendations led to a tightening of safety on the Underground.

It was not until January 2004, when the final victim of the fire was identified. For years, police had failed to work out who "Body 115" was and assumed he was a man aged 40 to 60.

He turned out to be Alexander Fallon, 72, from Falkirk, Scotland, who had been living rough in London.

Mr Fallon's four daughters were prompted to renew their inquiries about the body's possible link to their father after reading about a 15th anniversary service for the fire's victims in 2002.