Third Pre-Inquest Review For In Amenas Gas Plant Attack

The Coroner Is To Consider a Range of Important Matters of Evidence At The Hearing


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

The Coroner sitting in the High Court, at the Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London, at 2pm, will hear submissions and consider a range of important matters of evidence relating to the three-day terrorist attack at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria which left more than 65 dead, as a third pre-inquest review takes place into the deaths of seven UK residents who were killed at the plant in January 2013.

Specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are representing the family of a senior BP Executive who died when a faction of Al-Qaeda stormed the gas plant on 16 January 2013. The Lawyers say that they hope the full inquest this autumn will provide answers as to exactly what happened.

The latest pre-inquest review hearing will consider a range of important matters of evidence relating to the lead up to the attack, the attack itself and of the tragic events that unfolded over those fateful days.

Around 800 hostages were taken by the terrorists at the plant and more than 65 people were killed, some as gun battles took place between the terrorists and the Algerian military following the storming of the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria.

Irwin Mitchell is representing the family of Mr Carlos Estrada Valencia, a Senior Vice President for BP, which jointly operated the plant by way of a joint Venture with the Algerian state oil company ‘Sonatrach’, and Norway’s ‘Statoil’. Mr. Estrada Valencia, who had worked for BP for 18 years and had risen to the position of Vice President of Non–Operated Assets, was on his first visit to the gas plant when he was taken hostage by the terrorists and killed.

It is understood that legal proceedings arising out of the attack are also currently underway in Algeria. Among other matters, lawyers at Irwin Mitchell maintain that evidence available in the Algerian legal proceedings should be made available for the inquest proceedings in London to help determine exactly how these men lost their lives.

Clive Garner, Head of International Personal Injury and Group Actions at Irwin Mitchell and representing Mr Estrada Valencia’s family said:

Expert Opinion
Families from across the world were left devastated by the terrible events and the dreadful loss of more than 65 lives at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria last year.

“The full inquest this autumn is an opportunity to provide the vital answers that Mr Estrada Valencia’s family, and the families of other victims, desperately need.

“It is now 18 months since Mr Estrada Valencia died and his family still do not know exactly what happened to him or how this tragedy occurred. It is hoped that that the inquest will help our clients, and the families of all those who lost their loved ones, understand exactly what happened.

“For this to happen, the Coroner will determine, having heard submissions from us and other lawyers including those from BP, what additional evidence will be made available at the 8 week inquest hearing. We and our clients also hope that lessons can be learnt from the inquest to reduce the risk of other tragedies like this occurring in the future.”
Clive Garner, Partner

Carlos Estrada Valencia’s wife, Claudia Gaviria, said: “We are still devastated every day when we think about Carlos. It is very difficult to come to terms with losing him when we still don’t know exactly what happened. It is important that we find out the truth about the In Amenas attack, not just for ourselves and the families of other victims, but also, to try and stop anything similar from happening again.”

The full inquest in this matter will take place at the Royal Courts in Justice in London between 8th September and 31st October 2014.

Partners and staff at Irwin Mitchell have also acted for numerous victims of terrorism around the World including the Lockerbie disaster (Pan Am flight 103), the September 11th attacks at the World Trade Centre in New York, the IRA bombing of the Arndale Centre in Manchester, and the 7/7 bombings in London.

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in terrorism related injury claims.