All 30 British victims of the 2015 Tunisia terror attacker were "unlawfully killed", the coroner has said.
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Coroner Nicholas Loraine-Smith rejected calls from lawyers representing some of the dead people's relatives to rule "neglect" by travel firm TUI or the hotel owners, played a role in their killing.
The Coroner said the law on neglect did not, in his view, apply to tourists who voluntarily went abroad, and that better planning and actions by hotel staff may not have prevented the atrocity in which thirty-eight people were killed by radicalised Islamic extremist Seifeddine Rezgui.
The judge said he would rule on each British victim individually, adding: "My conclusion is that all thirty were unlawfully killed."
The judge said although in general the response of the hotel staff was "disorganised and chaotic" some of them displayed "conspicuous personal courage" in their efforts to protect the guests.
He said this courage was also shown by guests at the hotel too.
Summing up the evidence heard during the inquest, Judge Loraine-Smith referred to the response of police and military, including the officer who "fainted through terror and panic", and the guard who took off his shirt to hide the fact he was an officer.
He said with the exception of two marine guards, no police entered the hotel grounds until the gunman had killed all thirty-eight tourists.
The judge also referred to a police unit that stopped off to first pick up more weapons instead of going straight to the scene.
"They had everything they required to confront the gunman and could have been at the scene within minutes," he said, adding: "The delay was deliberate and unjustifiable."
The travel agents association ABTA has also issued a statement which in the circumstances is somewhat light on detail on their role at the time:
“The Sousse terrorist attack was an appalling attack on innocent holidaymakers involving a terrible loss of life. It is entirely appropriate that there has been a thorough investigation into what happened on the day and in the run up to the incident. The coroner has concluded that all victims were unlawfully killed by the actions of a lone gunman.
“The safety and security of holidaymakers is of critical importance to the travel industry and we will carefully review the Coroner’s report when it is published at the end of March to see if there are any learnings for the industry.”
JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com