Inquest To Begin Into Seven Deaths During Terrorist Attack at In Amenas Algerian Gas Plant

Coroner To Consider Evidence Over Eight Weeks At Royal Courts Of Justice, London


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

An eight-week inquest into the deaths of seven people who died during a four-day terrorist attack at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria in January 2013 begins on Monday 15 September 2014.
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.
The inquest will begin at the Royal Courts in Justice, The Strand, London at 10am on 15th September for eight weeks before his Honour Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC and a verdict will be delivered at a later date.
Specialist International Personal Injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are representing the family of Mr Carlos Estrada Valencia, a Senior Vice President of BP. BP 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 and killed when a faction of Al-Qaeda terrorists stormed the gas plant on 16 January 2013.
Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell say they hope the inquest will provide much needed answers about exactly what happened, as nearly two years later his family still don’t know how he lost his life.
Clive Garner, Head of International Personal Injury and Group Actions at Irwin Mitchell and representing Mr Estrada Valencia’s family said: 

Expert Opinion
This inquest is an opportunity to provide the families of those who were killed with the answers they both need and deserve as to exactly what happened in Algeria over those few terrible days and in the lead up to this tragedy.

“Mr Estrada Valencia’s family are desperate to know how it was that he so tragically lost his life. This will be a very difficult eight weeks for them as they hear more about how the events unfolded in Algeria.

“His Honour Judge Hilliard will carefully consider all of the evidence including that from eye witnesses, other factual witnesses and experts. We hope that the inquest will help our clients, and all of the families involved, to find out the truth so that they can begin to come to terms with what happened.

“We also sincerely hope that lessons can be learnt from this tragedy to reduce the risk of other similar situations 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 extremely 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.”
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.