London

Ella Kissi-Debrah: Government to be quizzed over 'pollution' death

Ella Kissi-Debrah
Image caption Ella Kissi-Debrah lived 25m (82ft) from the South Circular Road in south London

The government will be questioned at a fresh inquest into the death of a nine-year-old girl whose fatal asthma attack may have been linked to air pollution near her home.

Ella Kissi-Debrah, who lived near the South Circular Road in Lewisham, south east London, died in 2013 after having seizures for three years.

The High Court granted a new inquest after more evidence came to light.

An Article 2 inquest will be held at Southwark Coroner's Court next year.

Under Article 2 of the Human Rights Act, the inquest will scrutinise the role of public bodies in a person's death.

Assistant Coroner Philip Barlow told the court "it seems to me that Article 2 is engaged" but said it was subject to any further submissions he received from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Ministry for Transport.

Image copyright Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah
Image caption Ella had 27 visits to hospital for her asthma attacks

Transport for London (TfL), the Mayor's office and Lewisham Council are also interested parties in the proceedings.

However, it was decided that London Ambulance Service and University Hospital Lewisham would not be required to give fresh evidence.

Mr Barlow added: "It does seem to me that the scope of the investigation needs to move on to look at the pollution issue."

A further pre-inquest review is due to be held on 8 April, ahead of the full inquest which is currently scheduled for the end of 2020 and will sit without a jury.

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