A family from Camborne were among ten people to be gassed to death by cookers which had their grill doors closed, the opening day of an inquest heard this morning.

The deaths occurred in different parts of the UK from 2009 to 2013, writes Nick Irving.

Today an inquest began in Truro to investigate the deaths of five people in Cornwall during this period.

They included a family of three who were found dead in their static caravan home in Camborne in February 2013, and two housemates from Saltash who died in November 2010.

Lawyers for the victims' families claim: "Their deaths are believed to be a result of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by gas cookers produced by Beko Plc."

They added that "Beko supplies household appliances to one in four homes in the UK and distributes 2.9 million products every year."

The Truro inquest heard that in 2009 there were a number of deaths caused by grill doors being closed during use, from a variety of makes. 

The coroner revealed the deaths to be in Doncaster, Kent, Cork in southern Ireland and a double fatality in Belfast.

Coroner Geraint Williams is now conducting a hearing into the deaths of 86-year-old Audrey Cook, her husband John, 90, and their daughter Maureen, 47, who died in Camborne in 2013, as well as the deaths of friends Richard Smith, 30, and 32-year-old Kevin Branton who lost their lives in Saltash in 2010.

The parent company of Beko, Turkish-based Arcelik, which manufactures the products involved in these specific two cases, made a statement to the inquest.

The firm said the door of the grill must be kept open when it is in use.

It said in 2010 they tested for carbon monoxide when the door was both open and closed while the grill was being used.

Their representative said one of the main issues was what happened when customers used the grill when the door was closed.

"The door must be kept open during operation of the grill, that is why the instruction is given," the statement said.

The company said grill cooking is a radiated heat to cook the surface of the food, unlike an oven which cooks to the centre.

And the grill's flame is efficient when the grill door is open, it said in the statement read to the inquest by coroner Geraint Williams.

In Cornwall all five victims died after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning, post mortems revealed.

Toxicology tests showed the levels in each of the five victims were in the "potentially fatal" range.

The pathologists said there was no evidence of any pre existing disease nor any medical emergency which could have caused or contributed to the deaths.

At an earlier pre inquest hearing coroner Mr Williams said there would be no criminal prosecutions in relation to the deaths.

A 2012 inquest into the deaths of Mr Branton and Mr Smith concluded they died accidentally, but the conclusion was later quashed by the High Court.

At that inquest a Health and Safety Executive engineer said that cooker grills should not be used with the door closed as that limited oxygen and could cause carbon monoxide to be produced.

The inquest was adjourned until Tuesday, when live evidence will be given by witnesses.

The inquest, which does not have a jury, is being held remotely and is expected to last all week.