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British woman, 53, died after her BMW plunged 80ft

A British woman plunged to her death after accidentally reversing her BMW off an 80ft tall multi-storey car park in Abu Dhabi.

Linda Al Selmie, 53, from Darlington, County Durham, fell from the sixth floor when parking her vehicle and suffered multiple injuries.

Her white car landed near the entrance to the car park and shocking photographs show the back of her vehicle completely destroyed. 

She had parked at the car park of the Sheikh Khalifa Energy Complex – the headquarters of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company Group on January 25, 2015. 

Linda Al Selmie, 53, from Darlington, County Durham, fell from the sixth floor when parking her vehicle and suffered multiple injuries

Mrs Al Selmie died at the scene from an inter-cerebral haemorrhage and crushed chest, the coroner found.

She grew up in Darlington before spells studying in Cardiff and living in Manchester, then moved to the Middle East with husband Wajhi Al Selmie, an Iraqi-born engineer.

An inquest at Crook Coroners Court yesterday heard an investigation was launched after her death. 

It found the concrete and metal barrier protecting cars from the edge of the car park had been built 16.68cm shorter than the originally designed showed and was only 90cm high.

It also should have been 110cm further in from the edge than it had been positioned.

Further tests revealed the barrier was built to withstand the appropriate pressures, although Mrs Al Selmie’s family dispute that it was carried out using the kind of force given out by a BMW – the car she was driving at the time.

Officials at BMW said tests had shown there were no mechanical faults. 

Criminal proceedings are underway over the building regulations, but not over Mrs Al Selmie’s death.

The court heard skid marks from the 4×4 tyres were left in the parking space, where the driver appeared to have slammed on her brakes.

Crispin Oliver, senior assistant coroner of County Durham and Darlington, told the family it had been difficult to get all the evidence he had hoped for to reach his conclusion.

He praised their hard work and determination, adding that without their help they may not even have the evidence that had been acquired.

Coming to his conclusion, he added: ‘This is an accident but I have obviously recorded the factual background to that.

‘If there is significant new evidence that arises from criminal proceedings. It is available for members of the family to ask for a new inquest.’

Speaking after the hearing, Mrs Al Selmie’s sister Marjorie Carney said they had accepted that this was as much information as they were probably ever going to receive.

She said: ‘We will never know what caused the car to go through the barrier. She had a wonderful life.’