Belly Mujinga: Memorial planned for transport workers killed by COVID-19

James MorrisSenior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
Yahoo News UK
Belly Mujinga, who worked at London's Victoria station, died in April. (PA)
Belly Mujinga, who worked at London's Victoria station, died in April. (PA)

The government is planning a memorial at London’s Victoria station for public transport workers who have died during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Transport secretary Grant Shapps said the memorial would be “appropriate” at Victoria because it was where Belly Mujinga worked.

While on duty in March, Mujinga was reportedly spat at by a man claiming to have COVID-19. She died of the disease in April.

British Transport Police (BTP) concluded her death was not linked to the incident, though it has since asked the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to review the evidence.

Grant Shapps told the transport committee the government is planning a memorial for transport workers who died during the pandemic. (Parliamentlive.tv)
Grant Shapps told the transport committee the government is planning a memorial for transport workers who died during the pandemic. (Parliamentlive.tv)

Shapps, appearing before the transport committee on Wednesday, said: “I have spoken to the union and others about doing something in the slightly longer term to commemorate transport workers’ extraordinary input and effort to assist the country in this time of crisis.

“Perhaps with some sort of commemoration or memorial, perhaps even at Victoria station where sadly Belly Mujinga worked but sadly died.

“We don’t know if it was connected to that incident but nonetheless it might be an appropriate location to remember all transport workers during this crisis.”

Shapps told MPs 54 transport workers have died of COVID-19, though he added “we don’t know whether they died as a result of their jobs – they may have had coronavirus from anywhere”.

He said of transport workers’ efforts during the pandemic: “These are the people who have been getting the NHS workers, the care workers, the essential workers, our food and all the rest of it to the right places at the right times throughout this crisis, without which we literally wouldn’t have food on our tables and certainly wouldn’t have the emergency services there.

“I think they have done a phenomenal job.”

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