A coroner in Britain has ordered a fresh inquest into the pub bombings in Birmingham in 1974 that killed 21 people.

The coroner for Birmingham and Solihull, Louise Hunt, says significant new information has come to light about the double bombings.

Announcing the decision Wednesday, she said there was evidence the West Midlands Police had missed potential warnings of the attacks, including a comment made by men linked to the Irish Republican Army that "Birmingham would be hit next week."

She says she had "serious concerns that advanced notice of the bombs may have been available to the police and that they failed to take the necessary steps to protect life."

Families have claimed the British state had knowledge of the attacks before they were carried out.