Kings Cross fire 25 years on

19 November 2012

Relatives of those who died in the fire at King's Cross Underground station on 18 November 1987 were joined by fire-fighters and union members to remember the 31 who died when a fire on a wooden escalator engulfed the London station.

Mick Whelan said the tragedy underlined the fact that safety was the first priority of any public transport system. ‘This is a time for mourning and honouring the dead,’ he said. ‘But part of that process it to determine that nothing like this must happen on our railways ever again. We must never be complacent.’

Mick wrote last month to Boris Johnson expressing ASLEF’s concern that proposed public spending cuts of nearly £65 million could mean the closure of 30 fire stations across London ‘with significant consequences for public safety and the health and safety of transport workers’. He urged the Mayor to conduct a meticulous risk assessment of the impact of such cuts.

‘The anniversary of the King’s Cross fire is a reminder of the vital role the Fire Service plays in supporting the health and safety of transport workers,’ Mick said.

The Mayor has replied in non-committal fashion, saying he had not finalised the overall budget for the GLA Group because of the ‘considerable uncertainty over the level of government funding which might be available’.

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