Petition in support of railway worker Belly Mujinga signed by million-plus people

Belly Mujinga, who died a few weeks after an incident at London’s Victoria station Credit: Family handout/PA

More than a million people have signed a petition launched in support of a railway worker who died with coronavirus after an incident on the concourse of a railway station.

Belly Mujinga died in April, a few weeks after the incident at London’s Victoria station, leaving a widower and an 11-year-old daughter.

British Transport Police (BTP) interviewed a 57-year-old man but said the incident did not lead to the worker’s death and originally decided not to refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Crown Prosecution Service has now been asked to review evidence into Ms Mujinga's death in recognition of wider public interest. However, the British Transport Police added that the case is not being reopened.

The number of people who have signed a petition passed the one million mark on Friday – two months to the day since Ms Mujinga died.

Her husband, Lusamba said: "Belly’s life mattered. It mattered to me, to our daughter, our friends and family, to Belly’s colleagues, and now it matters to many thousands of you out there."

The petition seeks justice for the family of Ms Mujinga, whose trade union the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) has received messages of support from across the UK and from countries including the US and Germany.

Ms Mujinga’s husband Lusamba thanked those who have signed the petition, saying the family had been on a “rollercoaster of emotions”.

The public reaction to the case being closed took the family by surprise, he said, adding it had come amid anger over the killing of George Floyd in the US.

The 47-year-old died on 5 April in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19, leaving a widower and an 11-year-old daughter. Credit: Family Handout

He said: “On Wednesday, thousands of people protested in London to cry it loud that black lives matter. Black lives do matter. Belly’s life mattered. It mattered to me, to our daughter, our friends and family, to Belly’s colleagues, and now it matters to many thousands of you out there.

“We were there, united in our anger and our grief. United in our determination to be heard and in our determination to get change. We want justice for Belly.

“We want to know why she was sent out to work unprotected on the station concourse that day. We want to know why she was working when she had a respiratory condition.

“And we want justice for the families of all transport and key workers – they should all be eligible for the Government’s compensation scheme for NHS workers and carers who have sadly died from the virus.”

Previously, BTP had said senior detectives were confident that the Victoria incident did not lead to Ms Mujinga contracting Covid-19, adding that the man in CCTV footage who they interviewed as part of the investigation had a negative antibody test, showing that he had never had the illness.

The force said detectives were satisfied the incident did not lead to Ms Mujinga’s death.

After the petition topped a million, BTP said it had invited the CPS to conduct an independent review of the available evidence, and whether there were any further lines of inquiry.

On Friday, the force said it understood the depth of feeling over the case and that there were further questions over how it was decided there was insufficient proof of a crime to justify a prosecution.

"We can assure the public that we have comprehensively reviewed all the available evidence and have not identified any offences or behaviour that meets the threshold for prosecution," said the statement.

Southern Railway has said it is doing all it can to protect its staff.

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