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Last Updated: Monday, 12 March 2007, 08:38 GMT
Inquest into bug death outbreak
Forum 28
The outbreak was traced to an air-conditioning unit at Forum 28
An inquest into the deaths of seven people in an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in Barrow, Cumbria, is to take place in the town in June.

The coroner will give a verdict on the cause of each death following the 2002 incident, but will not apportion blame.

The source was traced to the town's Forum 28 centre and Barrow council and an official were later fined for breaching Health and Safety rules.

There will be no jury and 13 witnesses will be called in the week from 4 June.

It will be held at Barrow Magistrates' Court before South Cumbria Coroner Ian Smith.

Not guilty

He will formally establish the identity of the deceased, when they died and how.

Decisions taken by Barrow Council over the maintenance of the air conditioning system in Forum 28 will be examined.

In July 2006 the council pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act, and was fined 125,000 at Preston Crown Court.

Their employee Gillian Beckingham was convicted under section seven of the act, and fined 15,000.

Both the council and Mrs Beckingham were found not guilty of manslaughter.

Those who died were Richard Macauley, 88; Wendy Milburn, 56; Georgina Somerville, 54; Harriet Low, 74; Christine Merewood, 55; Elizabeth Dixon, 80; and June Miles 56.

There have already been two public hearings into the outbreak, and the Health and Safety Executive is due to publish its report before the inquest takes place.


SEE ALSO
Hearings begin into bug outbreak
04 Dec 06 |  Cumbria
How Legionnaires' struck Barrow
31 Jul 06 |  Cumbria
Bug death council worker cleared
31 Jul 06 |  Cumbria
Legionnaires' sufferers tested
29 Aug 02 |  England

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