CAIRO: A British coroner began hearing evidence Monday about the deaths of 11 Britons who died last summer in terrorist bombings in Sharm El-Sheikh. The two-day hearing was being held in Chelmsford, north of London, the BBC reported.
As the hearing began, Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray acknowledged how “dreadful it must be for the families of those killed. “Some of you were present in Egypt at the time of the bomb and many others of you had the dreadful experience of traveling out after the bombings to search for your loved ones, she said.
The parents of British victims of the Sharm El-Sheikh bomb blasts called Monday for compensation for the injured and bereaved. Some families complained of callous treatment from the British government as well as Egypt.They said they received little guidance on how to get information.
“The families of those killed in the Sharm El-Sheikh bombings wish to state that the way they have been treated by the British government can be summed up in one word: atrocious, said the statement issued as the inquests opened in Chelmsford.”Every single family feels abandoned, isolated and ignored.The British victims of the Egyptian bombings and their families have received absolutely nothing even though they were insured. The British government and the insurance industry have failed to take any responsibility.
John Corke,who lost his stepdaughter Annalie Vickers in the bombings, told the commercial TV station GMTV that the British government should act so victims of terrorism abroad can be given compensation.
He said,”We are not seeking compensation for ourselves,we are the fortunate ones,we were able to get out there, do things, and so on. But when this happens again,what happens to the breadwinners, who have not only been emotionally devastated, but have been financially devastated?
“The government has got to recognize that we are at the frontline of terrorism now, because of their foreign policies, which we are not saying are wrong,but they have got to support us abroad, he added.
The inquest is to include testimony from the family of Hannah Lloyd, 16, who died of her injuries after the bomb blasts. Her mother Heide praised charities and police but spoke of her family s devastation at the “unhelpful, cold, and impersonal treatment meted out by the British Foreign Office in the wake of the tragedy.
Heide Lloyd believes no one in authority has taken responsibility for what happened, and said, “During the terrible days after the explosions the Foreign Office acted appallingly in not wanting to face up to and help take on the problems we have had, and are still having.
In a statement, a Foreign Office spokesman said, “The vast majority of British nationals caught up in the Sharm El-Sheikh bomb attacks received a good service from the Foreign Office. But where some did not receive the help they deserved, we have apologized.
“And we remain determined to learn lessons,so that our support for British people in difficulty abroad is the very best it can be, the spokesman added.
The bombings in Sharm El-Sheikh killed 63 people.Egyptian authorities say that everyone responsible is either in custody or dead.
Three bombs went off in Sharm that day: the first, in a market,did not kill any Britons, but eight died, including four teenagers, in an explosion at the Ghazala Gardens Hotel and three others in the attack on the taxi rank.
Post-mortem examinations conducted at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, confirmed that all British victims had died as a result of being near the bomb blasts or from suffering injuries in the aftermath of the explosions.
Caroline Beasley-Murray, the Essex coroner, recorded verdicts Tuesday that seven of the victims were “killed in the course of an act of terrorism overseas. She is expected to record similar verdicts on the remaining four. Agencies