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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 October, 2004, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
Tube fire safety rules 'in place'
King's Cross underground station after the 1988 fire
31 people died as the fire swept through King's Cross station
A decision not to change fire-safety rules for underground railway stations has been applauded by a rail union.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said the government had decided to maintain fire regulations affecting London Tube stations.

The regulations, which lay out minimum staffing levels and other safety standards, were introduced in 1989 as a result of the 1987 Kings Cross fire.

The RMT's Bob Crow said it was a relief to passengers and workers alike.

The decision followed the intervention by the RMT's parliamentary convenor, MP John McDonnell.

'Fitting tribute'

"We're glad that common sense has prevailed and we would expect that any future review will maintain the levels of staffing and safety necessary to avoid ever again a tragedy like Kings Cross, " said Mr McDonnell.

Mr Crow said: "This is excellent news, especially as we approach the 17th anniversary of the Kings Cross fire.

"Keeping effective fire safety rules in place is the most fitting tribute to those who died.

"The government says it will draft new guidance on fire precautions in sub-surface stations, and RMT will continue forcefully to make the case for those precautions to be statutory."

A spokeswoman for the office of the Deputy Prime Minister said: "We have decided to keep the 1989 regulations until guidance on fire precautions in sub-surface railway stations has been published.

"We will work and consult stakeholders, including rail operators and the unions on this guidance."


SEE ALSO:
Tube fire safety concerns raised
14 Jul 04  |  London
Final King's Cross victim named
21 Jan 04  |  London
New leads over Tube fire victim
14 Jul 03  |  London


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