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AN INQUEST is to be held into the death of rail worker Belly Mujinga, more than a year after she died of Covid-19 after being spat at while working at London’s Victoria station.
North London Coroner Andrew Walker ruled yesterday that there was reason to suspect that Ms Mujinga’s death was “unnatural.”
The move was welcomed by her union, TSSA, which described it as “a step forward in the fight for justice.”
The coroner said that there was “a recognised increased risk for front-line workers,” and that there were concerns “about the provision of PPE and the deployment of Mrs Mujinga at the station which may have involved an element of human error.”
Mr Walker added that two other workers had become unwell with Covid-like symptoms while working at the station, one of whom died from the infection.
The British Transport Police concluded at the time that there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone with a crime, but the family’s lawyers say they had been prevented from bringing a private prosecution because the force has refused to release the name of a suspect.
A BBC Panorama programme also raised serious questions about the enquiries carried out by Ms Mujinga’s employer, Govia Thameslink, and the police.
TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “Our entire union will welcome the decision to hold an inquest into Belly’s tragic death.
“As far as we are concerned there have always been a number of outstanding questions about what happened to Belly and an inquest will be a step forward in the fight for justice.
“Belly’s death touched the nation and was keenly felt by so many transport workers who have bravely been on the front line throughout this terrible pandemic.
“We simply must know what happened and the lessons which can be learned.”
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