THE family of a homeless man said yesterday they believed he was the last unidentified victim of the 1987 Kings Cross underground fire and called on police to exhume his body for DNA tests.

Mary Leishman, 66, from Stenhousemuir, and her three sisters believe it is inconceivable that the 31st victim of the disaster could be anyone other than their father - Alexander Fallon, a down-and-out who left Scotland to seek anonymity in London.

For 16 years, one of the victims of the tragedy has been known simply as 115 - the number allocated when the body arrived at the mortuary after the fire.

Despite police producing a forensically reconstructed likeness of his head, the body remained unidentified and was buried in a pauper's grave.

As far as Mrs Leishman is concerned, compelling evidence indicating that 115 and her father were the same person was that both were roughly 5ft 2in tall and each had undergone brain surgery requiring a clip being placed in the skull.

In addition, there was a striking resemblance between Mr Fallon and the forensically reconstructed face of the


''We will never know one way or another unless the body is exhumed,'' Mrs Leishman's husband, Andrew, said yesterday. ''It all depends on that.''

Mr Fallon has not been heard of since the date of the tragedy when he was then aged 72 and there is no record of his having claimed social security from that date.

''He would always be first in the queue,'' said Mrs Leishman.

Last night, however, the two British Transport Police officers still investigating what remains an open case insisted that there was no fresh evidence positively identifying 115 and Mr Fallon as being the same person and none which warranted a request being made to the Home Office for the body to be exhumed.

Inspector Ian Wilkinson, one of the two remaining investigating officers and who himself was involved in the rescue operation during the height of the inferno, has met Mrs Leishman and her husband and fully appreciates the turmoil they might be going through.

He took them to the site of the fire and pointed out the memorial plaque in memory of the victims. He also accompanied them to Finchley cemetery and the grave where 115 is buried.

He also introduced them to Father Jim Kennedy, of the Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church in Islington, who holds an annual commemorative service for the Kings Cross victims.

Nevertheless, police believe there is no fresh evidence indicating that Mr Fallon and the last unnamed victim of the disaster are the same person.

Mr Fallon's life fell apart after the death of his wife in 1974. He sold up his house in Falkirk before finally moving to London in the early 1980s.

Initially, he kept contact with his four daughters - two of whom still live in Scotland and the other two in the United States.

Despite having not heard from their father for some time, the daughters did not associate the Kings Cross disaster with his sudden silence. It was only in 1997 that the family began to consider it as a possibility. British Transport Police told the family then it was unlikely Mr Fallon was a victim, but the case would remain open.

Families of those who died in the tragedy have been paid substantial undisclosed sums by London Regional Transport, who accepted responsibility for the disaster.

Mrs Leishman said: ''Our interest in all this is primarily to find out what happened to my father, and compensation has never been mentioned.

''If we were offered compensation, we would think that was right, but we could never afford to fight for it.''

It emerged last night that, other than the Leishmans, various families have approached Dr Andrew Reid, coroner of St Pancras, over the possibility that 115 could be one of their relatives.

As a consequence, the coroner contacted the Home Office recently over the possibility of an exhumation, but was told that as a verdict had already been reached by his court he no longer had any jurisdiction.

Any application for an exhumation therefore had to be left with the investigating officers. Last night, no such request has been received by the Home Office.


Thirty-one people died in the Kings Cross fire on November 18, 1987.

The fire started at about 7.30pm in dry rubbish in a machine room beneath a wooden escalator after a passenger is believed to have discarded a lit match or cigarette.

The escalator connected the Piccadilly line - one of five underground train routes which run through Kings

Cross - with the mainline station.

Although the fire began as the evening rush-hour was tailing off, hundreds of commuters were still in the station, which is London's busiest.

Alexander Fallon is thought to be the 31st victim who has never been identified.

There was no prosecution of London Underground managers or staff.