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EDITIONS
Monday, 18 November, 2002, 10:40 GMT
Mystery on King's Cross anniversary
King's Cross station destroyed by fire
31 people died as the fire swept through the station
The identity of one of the 31 people who died in the King's Cross fire still remains a mystery, exactly 15 years after the tragedy.

A number of events are taking place to mark the anniversary of the tragedy at the station in north London, but police are still struggling to find out who the man was.

Even Interpol has been involved, checking dental records.

A model of the face of the mystery man, who is thought to be in his 50s or 60s, has also been made public.

Brain surgery

"We still get a number of inquiries about the man each year," said Superintendent John Hennigan of British Transport Police, who has worked for years to establish the man's identity.

He went on: "He was only 5ft 2in tall so that, at least, has helped when we have been considering other missing people.

"We know our man was a smoker who had undergone brain surgery a few years before the fire. The file remains open."

Father Jim Kennedy, parish priest at the Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church where a special service was being held on Monday, said: "We call the unidentified man Michael.

Plaque unveiled

"A plaque bearing the names of the dead is being unveiled at the church. Michael will be referred to on the plaque simply as `an unknown man'."

A dropped cigarette is believed to have caused the disaster.

At about 1930BST on 18 November 1987, a fire broke out on a wooden escalator and then a fireball engulfed the ticket hall which filled with smoke.

The smoke could be seen coming out of the station's street-level entrances as screaming passengers escaped.

Smoking ban

A fireman was one of those killed.

As a result of the tragedy, smoking at London Underground stations and in its trains has been banned.

Councillor Nasim Ali, Deputy Mayor of Camden, will unveil the plaque and will also be among those laying wreaths at King's Cross station.

The Blessed Sacrament has hosted anniversary services each year, with a number of those surviving, and bereaved by, the fire attending.


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See also:

16 Apr 02 | England
08 Oct 99 | London train crash
07 Oct 99 | Health
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