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This article was reproduced with the kind permission
of the British Broadcasting Corporation

 

 

Sunday, 18 November 2007, 12:59 GMT
Wreath laid for Tube fire victims


A wreath has been laid at King's Cross London Underground station to mark the 20th anniversary of a fire which claimed the lives of 31 people.

They died when a fire started under a wooden escalator at the station on the evening of 18 November, 1987.

It is thought a smoker who dropped a match started the fire - smoking was subsequently banned on the Tube.

A wreath was laid by staff at a memorial plaque for the victims before services began on Sunday morning.

The fire exploded into a fireball on reaching the ticket hall and it was six hours before firefighters could bring it under control.

Smoking ban

Wooden escalators were phased out across the Tube network in the aftermath of the disaster.

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.