Zane Gbangbola–tragically killed by Hydrogen Cyanide – implications for Grenfell toxicity must be investigated - The news line headline
News Line is pleased to reproduce a heartbreaking and moving account of a single family’s call for justice and their support for the families of Grenfell which was delivered at the end of Justice4Grenfell’s second anniversary march to Downing Street on Saturday.
Kye Gbangbola began speaking by thanking Justice4Grenfell for inviting him and his wife, Nicole, to speak.
‘IT IS with Humility and Respect that Truth About Zane are here to remember those who died, the bereaved families, and survivors of Grenfell Tower.
‘And it is our honour to stand alongside Grenfell in solidarity in the fight for Justice. Two years on is just wrong, and for my beautiful boy five years on is disgrace upon disgrace.
‘Justice is for all not just the few.
‘In February 2014, unprecedented flooding swept through unregulated landfill site six yards behind Zane’s home in Surrey – land formerly used for tank testing and experimental
‘The floodwater flowed beneath Zane’s Victorian home, which became infused with Hydrogen Cyanide a deadly odourless and invisible toxic gas that rose up silently through the floor boards.
‘The gas, Hydrogen Cyanide, was detected in Zane’s home by expert Fire Services HAZMAT. Seven-year-old Zane was killed.
‘This same gas, Hydrogen Cyanide, is said to be responsible for many deaths at Grenfell two years ago. It was also the chemical weapon used to kill people in WWII Death Camps.
‘Do you remember Salisbury just over a year ago? Well all the events that followed the actual poisoning in Salisbury, happened to us – the area evacuated for weeks, immediate presence of Porton Down the world leading chemical weapons agency who took over the area, emergency COBRA meetings (meetings on matters that are the highest level of national security), decontamination units, pop up hospital, chemical suits, Army Gold Command, etc.
‘Picture this. It is 3.00am and a mother; Nicole, finds her only child, seven-year-old Zane collapsed, she raises the alarm; calling emergency services, whilst trying to resuscitate Zane. In the meantime, unknown to anyone, I was also silently dying, and unconscious.
‘When I came round I was lying next to my dead son, who I had hugged and kissed goodnight just hours before.
‘Our son had just been killed. Our medical records, within minutes of Zane’s, death, contained multiple records of Hydrogen Cyanide.
‘We were unable to return home for over a year. No alternative housing was ever provided. Without a bed and homeless Nicole was left to sleep on the floor of the hospital for four months whilst I tried to recover from life changing injuries!
‘At a time when we were most vulnerable, instead of authorities running towards us to help, they ran towards us to attack.
‘When I got out of hospital I was paralysed and without a home, insurers confirmed the house we had once called home was not fit for purpose.
‘Two months of tests on the house revealed toxic migrating gases were entering it.
‘The independent report concluded there was a risk of death occurring again. We were broken, and still being beaten, but were still looking for truth.
‘The world is disgusted when chemical gases choke the lungs of little ones in Syria, quite right, but what about when Hydrogen Cyanide was found in Surrey!
‘Like Hillsborough, the truth was known on the day. For Zane the truth was known in minutes. The National Incident Record Book states the house had VERY HIGH LEVELS of HYDROGEN CYANIDE.
‘The Environment Agency built a property next door to us four years earlier; in 2010.
‘Before it was built they commissioned a large engineering firm to report on the secret landfill. The report stated there are migrating landfill gases, the risk is HIGH. The authorities responded by building their property with a gas-proof membrane that forms a barrier stopping the entry of dangerous migrating gases into their property.
‘The authorities had a duty to protect us, as we know they protected themselves. Zane’s death was preventable.
‘Zane’s inquest was marked by various areas of critical evidence being marginalised, plus witnesses not being called; we had five legal teams against us. Whilst we had to beg, borrow, and crowd fund £75K to pay for representation, right up to the day of Zane’s inquest, because legal aid was refused three times.
‘The other public authority QCs – some of the best in the country – used public money like water. Even the coroner hired a barrister at the public’s expense. Our situation was tantamount to multiple armed-to-the-teeth Goliaths against one unarmed David!
‘The Inquest for Zane generated widespread concerns, leading to immediate calls for an Independent Panel Inquiry from eminent people, MPs, legal experts and justice campaigners.
‘Without proper full and fearless investigation, or a jury, the coroner decided unilaterally that Zane was poisoned by carbon monoxide, a substance not detected.
‘I was two yards from Zane and unconscious in cardiac arrest, I am diagnosed paraplegic due to Hydrogen Cyanide poisoning.
‘Had Zane’s mum, also poisoned, not managed to raise the alarm, many could have died that night.
‘The Fire Brigade Union unanimously approved a motion of support for Zane’s campaign and its call for an Independent Panel Inquiry compelling full public authority disclosure, and proper full and fearless investigation, to restore to Zane the Human Rights he was stripped of by being denied an Article 2 inquest with no jury.
‘To be clear, no CO was ever found. Only Hydrogen Cyanide was detected.
‘The question I ask you is what kind of a country do we live in where there is no reported investigation into why there is the deadly nerve gas HCN; officially a WMD, in an area? Or where it came from?
‘The British Medical Journal says 80% of people in the UK live within 2km of landfill.
‘A recent widely publicised report on Grenfell by Professor Anna Stec discusses findings on Environmental Contamination.
‘There are some fundamental points I would like to highlight briefly …
‘The main fundamental point is that without proper investigation, communities are left at risk to their health both inside and outside of their homes!
‘The Independent Newspaper reports just this week on a school in Scotland built on landfill where children are ill and being withdrawn from the school, and four teachers have contracted a rare bladder cancer.
‘Landfill pollutes areas through several pathways, as do fires in buildings, but it is generally understood that both can involve complex chemical interactions that amplify toxic impact on the human body, whilst other interactions accumulate in the body and harm over time.
‘Plain speaking: carcinogenic and mutagenic effects mean genetic mutation and cancer causing impacts.
‘When major incidents occur, authorities are great in failing in their duty to protect communities by hiding behind an alleged lack of regulation.
‘They fail to conduct sampling in the grounds around people’s homes, and within the homes themselves, they fail to test the people, then fail to remediate, and they fail to monitor.
‘I must inform you the law is clear, you must not kill people! If you do, you get held responsible.
‘Authorities will often fail to disclose issues of environmental contamination, even when they do become aware communities are at risk of harm.
‘Independent impartial reviews must be commissioned where the community has a voice.
‘Costs to remediate will lead to arguments amongst the authorities responsible for the risks. Until people, and the powerful change their attitude and become invested in the need to care and act, things won’t change.
‘I am pleased that with Grenfell, some appetite seems to exists for independent analysis, hence the Stec Report. For Zane, abject failure to investigate continues.
‘Some authorities just want Zane to go away, they similarly wanted the Hillsborough families to go away, and Stephen Lawrence’s family to go away.
‘But all we ask is the truth, cooperation, and open frank discussion as the correct route out of the deceits of unaccountable power in the aftermath of a child’s death.
‘It is up to Parliament and the authorities to do the right thing.
‘To the many that are in support, unions and parties with national motions of support, including the FBU, PCS, Unite, TUC, and the Green Party, in addition, Lords, Unison, Labour CLPs, Opposition Secretaries of State, Bishops, and the public, as well as high profile people, Nicole and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts, as undoubtedly Zane would want us to.
‘Zane is articled for his love of people and the environment, he wrote: “Sustainability and being green is not just tidying up your own garden – it’s about keeping tidy an even bigger garden that belongs to everyone” I want you to hear Zane’s own words to know the kindness, care and compassion he had for everyone else and us.
‘It’s 64 months since Zane was taken from his family. 82,000 people have signed Zane’s 38 Degree petition at www.truthaboutzane.com/petition for an Independent Panel Inquiry, we ask you to support the family to exceed 100,000 signatures it could really shine a spotlight on Zane’s case, and matters of environmental contamination.
‘Politicians must remember “You are what you do, not what you say”. Give Zane an IPI, let Zane and his family have the truth, Zane’s soul cries out for it.’
Zane’s dad ended his speech by saying: ‘For all us grieving fathers it will not go unnoticed that Sunday is Father’s Day and our arms are empty of our lost children.
‘My heart breaks for every father who feels this loss and pain. For all our lost children, you are forever in our hearts, and we fight for you.
‘Thank You for listening and Blessings to You All.’
Original article >>
TruthAboutzane stand in solidarity with grenfell on the second anniversary since the grenfell tower fire
This week thousands of people will be heading to parliament for the second anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire in which 72 loved ones lost their lives. Zane’s parents Kye and Nicole have been asked by Justice4Grenfell to speak outside Downing Street about their campaign to find out the truth and the overlaps of environmental contamination. We’ll be meeting with politicians to demand they finally act to make sure the tragedy of Grenfell and Zane never happens again.
There will be thousands of people hearing them speak and the press will be there too. If they can show that tens of thousands of people have already signed the petition, the public and politicians will sit up and take notice.
If you are able, please join us and show Zane’s parents that they do not walk alone.. Saturday 15th June, 12 noon. Assemble Whitehall opp Downing Street, London W1A 1AA
Firefighters demand independent inquiry into death of seven-year-old boy killed by toxic fumes when his home flooded as they accused the Government of a cover-up - michael powell, mail on sunday
Firefighters have accused the Government of covering up the death of a seven-year-old schoolboy killed by toxic poisoning when his home was flooded.
Crews who recovered the body of tragic Zane Gbangbola have also joined a growing chorus of MPs and legal experts demanding an independent inquiry.
Coroner Richard Travers rejected evidence that Zane was poisoned by cyanide that seeped into the family home in Chertsey, Surrey, from a nearby former landfill site during storms in 2014.
Instead, he ruled Zane died after inhaling carbon monoxide gas from a petrol-powered pump hired by his parents to clear water from the basement.
His parents, who raised £70,000 to cover their costs for the inquest after being denied legal aid, insist the pump was not in use and that the authorities have lied about the true cause of their son’s death. The Mail on Sunday has been highlighting the case since 2014.
Now, the union representing firefighters who attended the scene has claimed crucial evidence was suppressed.
Lee Belsten, secretary of the Fire Brigades Union in Surrey, said: ‘It was our firefighters who detected hydrogen cyanide at the property and our members believe that the verdict of the coroner was highly questionable. We will expose the true events and hold to account those individuals and authorities who we believe lied and withheld crucial evidence.’
Mr Travers has been accused of failing to call key witnesses during the inquest in 2016 and of allowing evidence – including the minutes of a Government Cobra crisis meeting about Zane’s death – to be withheld.
The inquest heard how fire crews recorded readings for hydrogen cyanide inside the house and first responders detected no fumes from a petrol pump.
Experts from the Government’s defence research centre at Porton Down sealed off the property for weeks and 17 neighbours were sent for blood tests.
And doctors said the paralysis suffered by Zane’s father, Kye, was caused by hydrogen cyanide poisoning.
But Mr Travers ruled on the ‘balance of probability’ that Zane had died from a carbon monoxide level of eight per cent in his blood and that the cyanide readings may have been oxides of nitrogen in exhaust fumes from fire engines.
Zane’s mother, Nicole, said: ‘We demand an independent panel inquiry to get to the truth.’
Mr Travers did not respond to a request for comment last night. Previously, a spokesman said: ‘All relevant and available evidence was called and considered.’
Read original article here
The meeting also heard from Labour frontbencher MP Sir Keir Starmer, who said: "This is such an important case on its own individual facts and what it exposes about our institutions' ability to get to the truth.
"We have got the question of whether the inquest system has the ability to really dig down to the truth in a way that gives families confidence."
Another Labour MP, Jess Phillips, said she saw "parallels" between the Gbangbolas' campaign and the long-running campaign to reopen the inquests into the deaths of the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings.
Speaking outside Parliament, Ms Phillips said: "I don't think the state has the provision to allow ordinary citizens to get justice.
"What I hope is proven is there hasn't been a cover up, but I feel the state covers its back all the time."
Mr Gbangbola told the meeting he and his wife would continue to ask for an independent inquiry "until such time as circumstances may change to allow that to happen" and called on the public to sign a petition supporting their campaign.
GetSurrey article here
Also see short video from Holly Droy, That'sTV Surrey
Listen to an emotional interview from Zane's parents and interview with Lee Belsten from Fire Brigade Union here
Calls for an independent inquiry into the death of a seven-year-old boy during the Thames floods of 2014 have been backed by the FBU in Surrey.
The firefighters' union said questions had been "left unanswered" over Zane Gbangola's death at his Chertsey home.
An inquest concluded he died of carbon monoxide poisoning generated by a petrol pump used to clear floodwater.
Zane's parents believe hydrogen cyanide (HCN) from a lake built over a former landfill site killed their son.
Lee Belsten, from the Surrey FBU, which has members who dealt with the incident, said: "It is public knowledge that hydrogen cyanide was detected in the house and we'd ask that gets looked into.
"From behind the house, there was a landfill site."
He added: "We have to get the government to look at this."
At the inquest, coroner Richard Travers said an HCN reading taken near the front door was triggered by the presence of oxides of nitrogen which probably came from a fire engine.
He said landfill could be a source of toxic gases, but no soil or water testing at the house or the land behind it found evidence of a source of HCN.
Mr Travers also found all the family had normal HCN readings when tested.
However, Zane's father Kye Gbangbola, who had a cardiac arrest that day and was left in a wheelchair, said his diagnosis was paraplegia due to hydrogen cyanide poisoning.
"How anybody could suggest something different for Zane is beyond me," he said.
The family have previously criticised the conduct of the inquest claiming anything to do with HCN was "marginalised", and Andy Burnham MP described the handling of the hearing as "seriously flawed" .
8th Feb marks 5th yr since little Zane was killed.We will honour Zane's memory & celebrate his life through words, music & fireworks. Friends welcome 7:30pm. Pls RSVP to family.
All we want for Christmas is our little boy. Zane died and authorities lied; protecting their reputations and kicking our sons death into the long grass.
On the 15th December, we marched in Woking town center alongside unions and some 60 plus firefighters. We did not visit Santa or enjoy the splendid Christmas decorations as we snuggle up to watch a Disney film with our precious son Zane. instead, we marched in the freezing rain begging for signatures to our petition and fighting for the TruthAboutZane.
Following Zane's death and my husbands paralysis from Hydrogen Cyanide poisoning, at a time when we were most vulnerable, broken and grieving deeply, we were subjected to an adversarial 6 week inquest at Woking Coroners Court where the authorities and other parties including the Coroner himself had legal representation. We were denied legal aid 3 times and forced to pay £70K just for legal representation and there were many other costs. We were denied an Article 2 inquest and denied a jury, we were denied equality of arms yet they spent public money like water to protect themselves in a flawed inquest.
Make no mistake cases of injustice and cover ups are often obscured by a type of bureaucratic violence upon the victims, perpetrated by public authorities who have become conduits of corporate power. This situation is exacerbated by the removal of checks and balances, standards, and regulations that should exist to protect us all.
Austerity kills, and when Zane died authorities lied.
Issues of Climate change, Austerity and social injustice exist in abundance both leading up to and after Zane’s death.
We need you to be aware and act on the conspiracy of silence over landfill and the harm it causes.
Please support our campaign alongside the unions and sign the petition
Innocent children like Zane should not go to bed and not wake up, poisoned in a home infused with nerve agent.
Home should be where you rest your soul not where your soul is laid to rest!
Legal Aid Agency refuse
3 times to grant family legal aid for inquest