The investigation and inquiry

The investigation into the cause of the fire was led by BTP officer Detective Superintendent Clift. He was assisted by David Halliday, a fire investigator from the Metropolitan Police, who reached the preliminary conclusion that there was no evidence to suggest the fire had been started deliberately.

Further enquiries and tests established that it had been caused by a lit match.

Smoking had been banned on the underground since 1987, but people continued to smoke and in particular would light matches as they travelled up the escalator.

There was a subsequent public inquiry, known as the Fennell inquiry and the report was published in 1988.

Fennell made several recommendations which included the replacement of wooden escalators, the installation of heat and smoke detectors, regular fire safety training for all staff, the smoking ban to be extended and underground radios for BTP, compatible with those of LFB, along with proper cleaning and inspections.

Chief Constable Paul Crowther, who was a sergeant on duty on the night of the fire, said: “The disaster itself and the subsequent inquiry led to fundamental change. As a result of the public inquiry, wooden escalators were rapidly phased out and all sorts of regulations came in about fire precautions.

"In the immediate aftermath there was an investigation to carry out, to identify the cause of the fire and to identify the people who had been injured and killed. In fact, it was many years before the final victim of that investigation, body 115 as he became known, was finally identified.”

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