Injured Tunisia Britons flown home

Posted by Warren Fyfe on June 30, 2015 in Warren Fyfe Site
RAF Hercules C17 aircraft arrives at Birmingham Airport from Tunisia on 29 June 2015

The plane carrying injured Britons landed at Birmingham Airport before flying on to RAF Brize Norton

Four British tourists seriously injured in the Tunisian beach attack have been flown back to the UK by the RAF.

It is feared that about 30 UK citizens were killed, though only 18 have so far been confirmed among the dead.

The government says all those hurt at the resort near Sousse on Friday will be brought home in the coming hours.

Tunisian authorities have arrested several people on suspicion of helping the gunman, who had links to the jihadist group Islamic State (IS).

A team of British consular staff was on the ground in Tunisia within hours of the attack, and is currently helping victims and their families.

‘Best hospital’

The four injured Britons returned on a specially modified RAF C17 transport plane which had left Brize Norton in Oxfordshire for Tunisia on Monday afternoon.

Medics experienced at bringing injured service personnel back from operations overseas were on board.

The Ministry of Defence said the plane had flown into Birmingham Airport, where one patient was taken off, before it continued to Brize Norton.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham confirmed it was treating one patient airlifted from Tunisia.

A spokesman said the patient arrived at 00:45 BST and was being “assessed by the hospital’s multi-disciplinary team” to determine what care was needed.

The MoD said it was working with NHS England to arrange for each patient to reach the “best hospital in their area for their needs”.

All British nationals injured in Tunisia are expected to return home in the coming hours

In other developments:

  • Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond is to chair a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency committee
  • a major exercise to test how British security services would respond to a terrorist attack is taking place in London
  • a national minute’s silence will take place in the UK on Friday at 12:00 BST, a week after the shooting
  • every primary and secondary school in England is to receive guidance on how to spot grooming of pupils by extremists

Tunisia beach attack: The victims

The names of those killed in the attack are slowly emerging. Here’s what we know so far about those who lost their lives, as well as those who are injured and missing.

Some survivors have also been speaking out about their ordeal.

In a speech to the Commons on Monday, following a minute’s silence held by MPs, Prime Minister David Cameron described the attack as “brutal and sickening”.

Also on Monday, Home Secretary Theresa May laid flowers on the beach near Sousse where gunman Seifeddine Rezgui shot people near the Imperial Marhaba and Bellevue hotels.

Tunisian authorities have said they believe the 23-year-old student – who was shot dead by police – acted alone, but had help planning the attack.

Local media reports suggest one of those detained is a flatmate of Rezgui.

British holidaymaker Steve Johnson contradicted the police’s account, telling the BBC he saw a second gunman.

Background and analysis

Tributes are continuing to be paid to the British victims, who include three generations of the same family and a husband who died trying to shield his wife.

Most identities of the British victims have not been officially released.

But former Birmingham City footballer Denis Thwaites and his partner Elaine are among the latest fatalities to have emerged.

The BBC understands the couple, from Lancashire, were staying at the Hotel Riu Imperial Marhaba when the attack took place.

Three Irish people were also killed, along with one Belgian and one German, and Tunisians are also thought to be among the dead. At least 36 people were injured.

Holiday firms Thomson and First Choice announced they had cancelled all their holidays to Tunisia due to leave on or before Thursday 9 July.

Customers can receive a full refund or choose an alternative destination free of charge.

Tour companies have laid on extra flights and about 10,000 British tourists have flown home from Tunisia since Friday, according to the Association of British Travel Agents.

The Foreign Office has updated its travel advice to warn that further terrorist attacks in Tunisia are possible, and urged people to be vigilant.

The Tunisian government has brought in increased security measures, and the country’s Interior Minister Mohamed Gharsalli said 1,000 troops would now be deployed to protect beach resorts.

We are seeking your stories relating to the Tunisia attacks. If you or anyone you know has been affected please contact us in the following ways.

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist.

  • Email
  • WhatsApp: +44 7525 900971

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33322789#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

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