May 17, 2020 / 3:42 PM / 11 days ago

UK police quiz man over death of rail worker spat at by 'COVID carrier'

LONDON (Reuters) - British police said on Sunday officers had questioned a suspect over an incident where a rail worker died of COVID-19 after being spat at by a man who said he had the novel coronavirus.

Belly Mujinga, 47, who worked in the ticket office at Victoria station, one of London’s busiest rail hubs, was on the concourse in March when a man who claimed to have the virus spat at and coughed over her and a female colleague, her union said on Tuesday.

Both women fell ill within a few days of the incident and Mujinga, who had underlying respiratory problems, was later taken to hospital and put on a ventilator. She died on April 5, 14 days after the assault at Victoria.

British Transport Police said detectives had now identified a 57-year-old man in connection with the incident.

“He was interviewed under caution today (Sunday 17 May) at a London police station,” a spokeswoman said.

“Detectives will continue to collate evidence and investigate the circumstances behind the incident. They are not looking to identify anyone further in relation to the incident.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told parliament on Wednesday that the death of Mujinga, who had an 11-year-old daughter, was tragic.

“The fact she was abused for doing her job is utterly appalling,” he said.

Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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