Monday, February 07, 2005

Family demand full inquiry into KGV death

The family of the late Michael Celecia, 68, who died in a tragic fire last December have issued a public call for a full ‘warts and all’ inquiry into the incident.

They reveal that Mr Celecia was found strapped into a chair and had allegedly been left alone, under sedation and smoking.

On Friday 3 December 2004 he was an in-patient at King George V Hospital. In a letter to the Chronicle the family state that they are very concerned that they have not yet received detailed information as to what went wrong on the night in question.

At the time the Gibraltar Health Authority said “it appears that the patient was in the day room smoking, a fire was discovered and the patient has died.” They also announced then that detailed investigations by the Fire Service, RGP Coroner and the GHA had already begun.

We do not yet know why no fire prevention systems to detect smoke were in operation and who was responsible for this. We do not yet know why our father was strapped into a chair and allowed to be smoking whilst apparently sedated. We do not know why our father was unsupervised and sleeping in a chair. We do not yet know who authorised this,” say the Celecia family.

They have been told that no detailed information will be disclosed to them about the ongoing investigation but they have been led to believe that they will receive a copy of the inquiry report.

The family intend to be represented at the inquest and say they will press for all the facts to come out.

If it should emerge that there has been negligence or some other impropriety we shall ask that heads should roll,” they said.


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