UK & World News
Tower Block Blaze 'Super Inquest' To Open
Relatives of six people who were killed in a huge tower block fire are hoping to find out "the truth" of how their loved ones died at an inquest which opens today.
Dayana Francisquini, 26, and her children, six-year-old Thais, and Filipe, three, were among the six victims of the fire at Lakanal House in Camberwell, southeast London, in July 2009.
Helen Udoaka, 34, her three-week-old daughter Michelle and 31-year-old Catherine Hickman were also killed.
They all lived on the 11th floor.
Lawyer Sophie Khan, who is representing the Francisquini family, said: "There has been a long delay in getting to this point and the relatives are hoping evidence will at last come to light that gets to the truth. The relatives want to know why their loved ones died.
"The family has wanted answers to these questions for a long time. Hopefully the family will now get the answers they want."
The fatal blaze started when a television which was at least 10 years old caught fire after being left plugged in on the ninth floor.
At the time, several residents described the complicated layout of the tower block as "a maze" which made the evacuation difficult.
Questions were also raised over claims that residents on the 11th floor were told to wait where they were for rescuers to arrive.
The 'super-inquest' - with the six inquests to be held together - is expected to last until the end of March.
It will hear from relatives of those who were killed, as well as recordings of 999 calls made by those who died.
It is being held at Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton and is being heard by Assistant Deputy Coroner Her Honour Frances Kirkham.