Detention centre failures led to death of asylum seeker

Custody Celloriginally by: The Guardian
published: 25 May 2012

Neglect by immigration detention centre staff contributed to the death of a Pakistani asylum seeker after he suffered a heart attack, an inquest jury has found.

Staff at Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre, near Heathrow airport, failed to call 999 soon enough, to administer CPR or have a working defibrillator available, an inquest at West London coroner’s court, found.

Muhammad Shukat, 47, a driver from Islamabad, died following a cardiac arrest last July. His 19-year-old roommate Abdul Khan pressed the emergency buzzer 10 times over a period of almost two hours, trying but failing to get Shukat, a man he called “uncle”, help.

The UK Border Agency, which commissions Serco to run the centre, said the verdict was “deeply worrying” and demanded radical action to address the problems.

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