Sunday, April 18News For London

Kings Cross remembers fire victims 30 years on

Three decades have passed since the tragic Kings Cross fire, and Londoners came out to pay their respects.

Kings Cross commemorated the victims of the 1987 fire (Photo by Fred Langridge).

Saturday the 18th of November marked 30 years since a fire at Kings Cross station claimed the lives of 31 people and injured 100.

Londoners gathered to pay their respect to those who lost their lives, including the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, representatives from TfL and London Fire Brigade.

A short service was followed by a minute’s silence and wreaths were laid beneath the memorial plaque.

Sadiq Khan tweeted about the memorial service

Mark Wild, the managing director of London Underground spoke about the impact that the fire had on London’s underground network.

An investigation into the fire found that a single match, dropped down the side slats of an escalator had ignited grease and rubbish which had accumulated over the years.

The fire developed over the course of 30 minutes, resulting in a flashover of flames ascending the escalator and into the ticket office.

Among the dead was Colin Townsley, a London Fire Brigade officer who was one of the first on the scene and got caught in the flashover. Mr Townsley was awarded the George Medal for his bravery posthumously.

A public enquiry chaired by Desmond Fennell QC, made 157 different recommendations to improve the safety of London’s underground. These ranged from sprinklers to loud fire alarms and over a quarter of these recommendations were put in place to protect people using the tube.

With the Grenfell disaster still fresh in everyone’s mind however, London is still clearly fighting inadequacies in fire safety regulations.

(Video: Tom Geggus, Subbed: Martin Steers)

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