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News | Tue 1st Mar, 2016
The full hearing of the inquest into the deaths of 30 British people killed in a terrorist attack in Tunisia in June 2015 will start on 16th January 2017.
Andrew Ritchie QC is representing the families of sixteen of the victims and appeared at the High Court today for a pre-Inquest hearing today.
The families invited the coroner to consider how to prevent future deaths at tourist sites by reporting to authorities, recommending that holiday companies should be highlighting the risk of terrorism to potential holiday makers in a clear way that allowed them to make informed decisions when booking holidays. The families allege that TUI did not pass on Foreign Office advice to customers before the attack that warned of a “high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping. Attacks could be indiscriminate including places visited by foreigners.” Ritchie also highlighted that some customers were sold travel insurance by Thompson Holidays which did not cover cancellations related to the risk of a terror attack and customers who had booked were discouraged by Thompsons from cancelling potentially dangerous trips because their money would not be refunded.
Andrew Ritchie QC said: “They [the families] are very concerned that TUI (Thomson’s parent company) and the travel industry in England and Wales are still involved in a general practice which puts customers at risk by hiding or ignoring Foreign Office warnings in their brochures and booking forms.”
The inquest will look at what, if anything, the UK government and travel companies knew about the risk of an attack at the Mediterranean resort and the coroner will also consider security at the hotel and the “adequacy” of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s travel advice for the region.
Andrew Ritchie QC is instructed by Irwin Mitchell LLP.
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