A GIRL aged nine who suffered a fatal asthma attack may become the first person in the UK whose cause of death is listed as air pollution after a fresh inquest was ordered yesterday.
Ella Kissi-Debrah died in February 2013 after three years of seizures and 27 hospital visits for asthma attacks.
She lived 80ft from the South Circular Road, in Lewisham, south-east London — one of the busiest in the capital.
An inquest into her death in 2014 concluded the cause of her death was acute respiratory failure as a result of a severe asthma attack. But a report last year found pollution levels at the Catford monitoring station a mile from Ella’s home ‘consistently’ exceeded EU legal limits.
Giving the go-ahead for a new inquest, judge Mark Lucraft QC, sitting at the High Court with two other judges, said ‘the discovery of new evidence makes it necessary in the interests of justice’.
Ella’s mother Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, who had applied for the new inquest, was ‘absolutely delighted’ by the ruling.
‘The past six years of not knowing why my beautiful, bright and bubbly daughter died has been difficult for me and my family, but I hope the new inquest will answer whether air pollution took her away from us,’ she said.
‘If it is proved pollution killed Ella then the government will be forced to sit up and take notice that this hidden but deadly killer is cutting short our children’s lives.’