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THE family of a black rail worker who died from coronavirus after being spat on at a London station called for “an immediate public inquiry” into her death today.
Campaigners for an inquiry into Belly Mujinga’s death have raised questions about delays in reporting the spitting and coughing assault to the police, among other issues.
A change.org petition supporting the call for an inquiry has now been signed by more than two million people following a Panorama investigation aired on Monday night.
Campaigner Lawrence Davis, who launched the petition, said: “Further to the Panorama [programme] … and given the significant public concern, Belly’s family have now called for an immediate public inquiry to be established to determine the facts surrounding the tragic death of Belly.”
Mr Davis has written a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson setting out the grounds for a request for a public inquiry and has written to the coroner to seek a separate coroner’s inquest.
Ms Mujinga, a member of the TSSA rail union, worked at Victoria Station. In March an aggressive passenger confronted her on the station concourse, spat at her, and coughed over her twice, saying he was infected with the coronavirus. He left but returned and repeated his actions.
Ms Mujinga had underlying medical conditions and had asked management of Govia Thameslink Railways not to make her work on the concourse. They refused her request. She died of complications linked to the coronavirus pandemic in April.
Mr Lawrence said the letter to the PM raised 22 questions about failures involving Govia Thameslink Railways, including ordering Ms Mujinga to work in public spaces, failing to report the coughing and spitting incident to the police and making her work without personal protective equipment.
Angie Doll, managing director at Govia Thameslink’s Southern and Gatwick Express, said: “We completed and published our investigation report in August and as people know now, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service did conclude that there was no spitting incident.
“Our thoughts, as ever, remain with Belly’s family … We continue to support them in any way we can.”
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