Michael Brough

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 13 January 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:149

Plastic surgeon who led the team treating casualties from the King's Cross fire

On 18 November 1987 a fire started on a wooden escalator at London's King's Cross underground station, quickly engulfing the ticket hall in a fireball and killing 31 people. The first casualties were admitted to the emergency department of University College Hospital before the London Ambulance Service declared a major incident. UCH was the primary receiving hospital for casualties, many of whom were dead on arrival. The survivors had severe flash burns and required grafting on both hands. Some also needed skin grafts to the face.

Although only a small number of patients required admission, the resources involved were considerable, including 100 hours of operating theatre time. Some survivors spent several months in hospital and required years of physiotherapy. Some of the most severely injured had nightmares and flashbacks. Some patients were still having psychotherapy at the …

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