THE deaths of five people have been linked to faulty Beko ovens – with 7,000 Brits still at risk.
All five victims, who lived relatively close to each other in Cornwall, passed away from carbon monoxide poisoning over the past ten years.
Maureen, 47, Audrey, 86, and Alfred – known as John – Cook, 90, died on February 23, 2013 in Camborne, Cornwall.
While Kevin Branton, 32, and Richard Smith, 30, from Saltash, Cornwall, died on November 13, 2010, after inhaling too much of the deadly gas.
A coroner has now linked all five deaths – with at least six others dying as a result of a defective Beko oven.
Beko attempted to contact more than 21,000 customers about the fault – but nearly 7,000 had not been reached.
In 2014, it was fined £76,659 for 23 breaches of safety regulations relating to 23 gas cooker models.
An inquest in 2012 heard how Richard and Kevin died when their cooker produced high levels of carbon monoxide.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the problem with the cooker was a “known” manufacturing defect.
They told the hearing cooker grills should not be operated with the door closed as this limits oxygen and can cause carbon monoxide to be produced.
Some ovens have a safety cut-out, others have an air gap around the door, but this model had a door fitted with a complete seal, which was a manufacturer’s defect.
Jurors returned verdicts of accidental death but this was quashed in 2015 at the High Court when their families argued new evidence had come to light.
They also said their lives had been ended by “something as simple as shutting the grill door” and urged people to check their cookers.
Then, in 2013, John and Audrey Cook and their daughter Maureen died in a static caravan in Tremarle Home Park, Camborne.
Devon and Cornwall Police gave the causes of death as carbon monoxide poisoning believed to have been caused “from incorrect operation of the gas cooker”.
Legal firm Leigh Day provided evidence to The Sunday Times that the cooker used by the family was a Beko Flavel Aspen 50.
Coroner Geraint Williams will now decide whether to re-open files into Richard and Kevin’s deaths at a pre-inquest review due to be held later this month.
A spokesperson for The Cornwall Coroner said: “The Branton and Smith files have not yet been re-opened and they might not be.
“It will be part of the decision of Mr Williams at the pre-inquest review as to whether he thinks they should be re-opened having already been heard.”
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A Beko Plc spokesperson said: “Our deepest sympathies are with the relatives and friends of those involved in these incidents.
“Safety is our highest priority and we deeply regret any incident linked to one of our products.
“Given the close proximity to the pre-inquest hearing, it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this stage.”