Coronavirus: Fourteen London transport workers die as Sadiq Khan comes under pressure over protective masks and gloves

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Neil Connery

London Mayor Sadiq Khan was today under growing pressure to give bus and Tube drivers masks and gloves following the deaths of 14 transport workers.

Union leaders have criticised Transport for London for failing to provide Personal Protective Equipment at bus garages and Underground depots.

Mr Khan defended the decision saying TfL was acting on government advice.

Nine bus workers, including drivers have died after testing positive for coronavirus. The other victims include three London Underground workers and an employee at TfL headquarters in Southwark.

A man wears a mask as he sits in a train alongside an empty platform in Baker Street Underground Station

Bus passengers on some routes in south London will be banned from using the front door in an experiment aimed at protecting drivers. The move follows demand from the drivers' union Unite.

Today a woman also made a desperate plea for public transport workers to be adequately protected following the death of her son.

Emeka Nyack Ihenacho was one of nine bus drivers who have lost their lives to coronavirus.

The 36-year-old worked in Holloway, north London, for bus company Metroline, which has also confirmed the deaths of two more employees.

Mr Ihenacho’s mother, Anne Nyack, criticised London Mayor Sadiq Khan, saying bus drivers are at risk of catching Covid-19 due to the lack of personal protective equipment.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain, she said: “He needs to get out there and have a look at the buses and see what condition the drivers are operating in.

“They are at risk, my son was at risk, sadly he died.”

She said her son had spoken to his partner and his sister about the “dirty” conditions on the buses.

Ms Nyack pleaded with Mr Khan to provide better protection for transport workers and asked him to visit the families of those who have died.

She said of her son: “He was given hand sanitiser – he had no mask, no gloves, nothing.

“Plus, he was asthmatic, he was open to the elements.

“I don’t want a letter or a telephone call, I want him (Mr Khan) to see the real faces of the tragedy, which is me and all the other bus drivers that have lost their lives.”

In an emotional tribute, a tearful Ms Nyack described her son as “a lovely man with a heart of gold”.

“He would help anybody,” she said. “He was full of laughter and always a joker, he had a nickname for all of us.”