Tunisia beach massacre Victims families get apology for lack of warning over

first_imgPolice officers patrol the beach near the Imperial Marhabada resort, which was attacked by a gunman in Sousse, Tunisia He also said to the witness: “I put it to you that TUI should have audited security on paper or by sending an expert adviser when the FCO (Foreign Office) advised there was a high risk of terror activity after Bardo. Would you agree with that?”She said she did not agree, adding: “We were told on numerous occasions that the advice wouldn’t be changing.”Ms Reynolds said that a reason security did not form part of safety audits was because of the conditions and circumstances of security being “variable”, in contrast with the more static nature of swimming pool depths for example.Mr Ritchie said: “May I put it to you that if the security is variable that’s the whole reason you audit.”She agreed with Mr Ritchie’s summary that TUI “relied on hotels and local authorities” regarding these matters.Extremist Seifeddine Rezgui massacred 38 tourists – including three Irish citizens – on June 26 at the Riu Imperial Marhaba hotel. The families of Britons killed in a terrorist attack in Tunisia have received an apology after they had to sit through “distressing” inquest evidence with no prior warning.The hearing into the deaths of the 30 British holidaymakers in Sousse in June 2015 began on Thursday with an apology to the relatives in court.Samantha Leek QC, counsel to the inquest at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, was referring to a witness statement that was read out on Wednesday afternoon.The statement of Camilla Bekkevold, resort team manager of travel company TUI UK, included a first-hand account of the day of the attack in which she mentioned seeing bodies and referred to possessions such as a sun hat covered in blood. Ms Leek said: “Some of the families in court yesterday were understandably upset during the course of the reading of Camilla Bekkevold’s statement.”I apologise that we had not warned that that potentially distressing material was coming.”The statement said: “I could see a man lying down, apparently being treated by medical people.”I got closer and saw that he had a severe head injury and they were not treating him, but getting his body ready to take him away. I then saw other bodies. There was a lot of commotion.”An extract near the end said: “Some of the possessions – and I remember a sun hat in particular – were covered in blood and I remember we were trying to decide whether things like that should be returned or disposed of.”Earlier, the inquest heard lives could have been saved if a travel company had carried out a security audit before the attack instead of an assessment after it. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Tunisian hotel gunman Seifeddine RezguiCredit: SITE Intelligence Group center_img The hearing was told TUI did not carry out frequent security risk assessments on resorts or hotels before the atrocity.TUI appointed security consultancy company Covenant to carry out an audit in the resort in July, excluding the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba hotel where the attack had just taken place, the inquest heard.In a witness statement, Jacque Reynolds, a director of risk and compliance for TUI, based in the UK, said: “TUI did not carry out regular security risk assessments of resorts or hotels prior to the Sousse attack. The only security reviews (of hotels) that had been commissioned before then were in Egypt.”Covenant’s briefing note after its audit said that staff’s understanding was considered to be “weak”, and a section with the heading “Emergency plans and procedures” said: “The current level of emergency planning and the associated procedures such as evacuation and invacuation need to be enhanced to meet the challenges of the evolving security situation. Police officers patrol the beach near the Imperial Marhabada resort, which was attacked by a gunman in Sousse, TunisiaCredit:REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra “A best guess at this is simply not good enough. This is something that should be designed by security specialists alongside the hotel management because they will need to understand the plans and procedures and also communicate them to their staff together.”The briefing note in July came soon after the Sousse attack and three months after another terror attack at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis.Andrew Ritchie QC, counsel for the families of the victims, put it to Ms Reynolds that, had TUI instigated the security audit after the Bardo attack, the company had 11 weeks to make changes, and “might have saved quite a few lives by having those things in place”. Tunisian hotel gunman Seifeddine Rezguilast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *