Abdul Oryakhel: Prevention of future deaths report

Other related deaths

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Date of report: 25/06/2024

Ref: 2024-0343

Deceased name: Abdul Oryakhel

Coroner name: Maria Voisin

Coroner Area: Avon

Category: Other related deaths

This report is being sent to: Product Safety and Standards | Department for Transport | West of England Combined Authority

[REDACTED] Chief Executive Officer Office for Product Safety and Standards, 4th Floor Cannon House, 18 The Priory, Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6BS    
[REDACTED] Head of private E-scooter Regulation, Traffic and Technology Department for Transport, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR  
[REDACTED] Metro Mayor The West of England Combined Authority, 70 Redcliff Street, Bristol, BS1 6AL
I am M. E. Voisin HM Senior Coroner for Avon
I make this report under paragraph 7, Schedule 5, of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 and regulations 28 and 29 of the Coroners (Investigations) Regulations 2013.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2009/25/schedule/5/paragraph/7 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/1629/part/7/made
On 28/9/2022 an investigation was commenced into the death of Abdul Jabar Oryakhel. The investigation concluded at the end of the inquest on 25/6/2024.  

The conclusion of the inquest was – Accident.

The brief circumstances are as follows: The deceased died on 25 September 2022 at Twinnell House, Stapleton Road, Bristol. He had fallen from the window of his flat on the top floor when he was trying to escape from a fire in the flat caused by the overheating and ignition of a lithium-ion battery pack which caused the fire. The battery was used for an E-bike stored in the cupboard of the flat.
132, Twinnell House is a Bristol City Council owned property and was rented by the deceased’s
cousin. His cousin had an E –Bike which was stored in the cupboard in the hallway.
The fire started when the occupants were asleep in the flat on 16th floor. Mr Oryakhel died, 1 received significant burns whilst escaping and the other 2 escaped by crawling out the kitchen window and being rescued by the emergency services.
The deceased, according to another resident, who lives on the 4th floor of Twinnell House, fell past his window at around 2.15am, he called 999, and the police, ambulance and fire services arrived on scene.
[REDACTED] from Avon Fire and Rescue explained that the first 999 call was received at 02.19hrs on 25th September, it was subsequently confirmed that the fire was on 16th floor of the building and it was initially declared a major incident. The fire was contained in the flat as was intended by the building design and fire safety measures.
A fire scene investigation was commenced the next day and [REDACTED] confirmed that the circumstance of the fire based on the investigation of the scene was … the accidental ignition caused by local overheating and catastrophic failure of a Lithium-ion battery pack which in turn caused a thermal runaway and significant fire development in a short space of time. The E- bike and charging equipment was the only possible source of ignition.
During the course of the inquest the evidence revealed matters giving rise to concern. In my opinion there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken. In the circumstances it is my statutory duty to report to you.
The MATTERS OF CONCERN are as follows.
There appears to be a lack of understanding of the dangers with Lithium-ion batteries used for e-bikes and e-scooters.
I understand that there is currently no British or European (e.g. BSI or PAS) standard to control what lithium ion e-bike batteries and chargers can be sold in the UK.
From what I am told there is an increase in the number of people buying and using e-bikes and e-scooters.
I am aware that other coroner’s have written similar reports but this only goes to emphasise that preventable deaths continue.
In my opinion action should be taken to prevent future deaths and I believe you have the power to take such action.
You are under a duty to respond to this report within 56 days of the date of this report, namely by 12th September 2024. I, the coroner, may extend the period.
Your response must contain details of action taken or proposed to be taken, setting out the timetable for action. Otherwise you must explain why no action is proposed.
I have sent a copy of my report to the chief coroner and to the following interested persons –
the family of the Deceased and Bristol City Council
I am also under a duty to send the chief coroner a copy of your response.
The chief coroner may publish either or both in a complete or redacted or summary form. He may send a copy of this report to any person who he believes may find it useful or of interest. You may make representations to me, the coroner, at the time of your response, about the release or the publication of your response by the chief coroner.
925th June 2024
M. E. Voisin
HM Senior Coroner for Avon