Against all the odds, 2020 saw TruthAboutZane Campaign grow exponentially and significant strides made in the breakthrough to the truth.
We would like to say a VERY big thank you for all your support for Zane & TruthAboutZane in 2020. Please keep building on your support for Zane in 2021, we need it, we appreciate it, so this hideous episode in history is recognised for the truth that happened to our precious boy.
This pandemic has forced us to witness life in a very unusual way. Trains and flights that were not even suspended during the two world wars have been ‘kept on hold’ and countries were forced to go into a lockdown. We have seen some amazing acts of bravery and strength. The NHS and Keyworkers keeping the country going and saving lives so we can stay home and stay safe.
Going out of your house for a leisurely walk, to campaign, to socialise or to work at our own convenience did not figure as something substantial earlier. These current times, however, have made the four walls of our houses visible and tangible. The world has shrunk to the boundaries of our homes. The idea of roaming around freely does not feel ‘normal’ anymore.
Tens of thousands of people have lost their lives to Covid-19 including Kye’s father. To those who have lost loved ones, our sincere condolences go out to you, as do our prayers and thoughts.
Of course, for Kye and myself our lives were changed in 2014 when Zane was killed in his home and Kye paralysed. Our life became tiny and our world imploded. Many aspects of our lives ended as we learned to live forever broken hearted. 2020 has been difficult as the very home we have had to lockdown in, as Kye shielded, is the headstone of our son’s death. It has been difficult to escape the trauma within these four walls albeit now protected with gasproof membranes, it remains full of loss.
Despite all of this, 2020 did not stop us in our fight for Zane, for the truthaboutzane and for the prevention of future deaths. Here is what we have done but not inclusive:
Fourteen activities in 2020, one for every year that Zane will have been here had he not been killed.
There are lots of ways you can help Zane get truth including pre order his book ‘TruthAboutZane’, due out early 2021; the first 2000 people to pre order will receive a special limited edition hard backed copy with their name in it. Zane's book sales have slowed down during this lockdown and we have had to cancel many events where sales could have been made. In order to get Zane's book printed we need 2000 sales to fund the costs of publishing and printing. We have some way to go and hoped that we could call on you, our supporters, to ask if you could please buy a copy or if already done so, pass the link to friends and family and ask they purchase the book. We would also ask if maybe, you would consider donating together the book across the line and enable Zane's voice to be heard. We want to get the book printed before the end of the year. Every penny goes to the cost of the print.
To purchase the book: http://www.truthaboutzane.com/book.html
To donate: https://www.gofundme.com/f/truthaboutzane-book-fund?pc=pd_personal_url&rcid=r01-157160229203-e9ed7addd4354ff9
Kye and I would like to thank all supporters from the bottom of our hearts.
A council that demanded an inquiry into the death of a seven-year-old boy during floods in Surrey has been told by the government his parents should take their own legal action.
Spelthorne council had asked for a full inquiry into Zane Gbangbola's death.
Zane's parents say he was killed by hydrogen cyanide gas washed out of a former dump behind their home.
An inquest ruled he died from carbon monoxide from a petrol-powered pump used to clear floodwater in the house.
Kye Gbangbola and Nicole Lawler have said the pump was not in use.
Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) minister Rebecca Pow replied to Spelthorne council's request and wrote: "If Zane's parents believe that there is new evidence available, they should consider making an application to the Attorney General asking her to apply to the High Court to quash the inquest and order a fresh coroner investigation."
She said Zane's parents should seek their own independent, legal advice, adding: "I believe that this remains the proper process to follow in this case."
Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy said: "Telling Zane's parents it is up to them to take yet more action, after all they have sacrificed in the seven years since their son's tragic death, is a gross insult.
"The government should take responsibility for finally allowing the truth to be uncovered.
"There is crucial and compelling evidence, which was unavailable to the coroner, that must now be considered by experts in an independent panel inquiry."
Spelthorne councillor Ian Beardsmore, who proposed the council's action, said he was "deeply disappointed".
In a statement, Zane's parents said: "It is simply wrong to deny a child killed in these circumstances a proper investigation.
"This is an effort to continue to kick Zane's case into the long grass. Justice delayed is justice denied."
BBC Article here>>
Some of this countries greatest speakers for justice gathered to urge the government to return human rights to a child killed and systematically stripped of his rights to a full and fearless investigation of what caused his death.
Emotional plea’s were made by David Lammy MP; Shadow Justice Secretary, Matt Wrack; FBU General Secretary, Baroness Bennett former Leader of the Green Party, the great Criminologist Professor Phil Scraton Lead Researcher on Hillsborough, and a powerful statement from Sir Keir Starmer Leader of the Labour Party.
Richard Burgon MP former Shadow Justice Secretary said how honoured he was to come and speak for Zane, and Zane’s Headmaster spoke unforgettably of the boy he knew, returning Zane to sight for the more than 2000 online viewers.
This was a rare tour de force of online protest and call for justice, reinforcing the call of our great Unions, the FBU, CWU, NEU, PCS, Unison, Unite, TUC, and uniting the voice of the people with nearly 110,000 people signing Zane’s petition demanding justice as called for by Parliament in a hard hitting Early Day Motion led by Jess Phillips.
Many shed tears at the address given by Zane’s mum, had she not have raised the alarm that fatal night many could have died and the secret landfill will have remained covered up to local people.
The speakers can be heard at the FBU website
There are lots of ways you can help Zane get truth including pre order his book ‘TruthAboutZane’, due out early next year; the first 2000 people to pre order will receive a special limited edition hard backed copy with their name in it. Or, donate to Zane’s Gofundme, to help fund the books publication, go to www.truthaboutzane.com
The family of Zane would like to thank all our supporters from the bottom of our hearts.
BBC Radio Surrey - Note Governments announcement the day Zane died despite the detection of ONLY Hydrogen Cyanide >>
I am proud to announce that the Fire Brigade Union are hosting a memorial for Zane. There is something you can do to give a loud clear message of support. Join us on what should have been Zane's 14th birthday to remember him and demand justice. http://bit.ly/justiceforzane Please sign up and share
Spelthorne council accuses coroner of 'cover up' over schoolboy Zane Gbangbola's death and demands inquiry
Councillors claim the inquest failed to consider fire service and medical evidence
Spelthorne councillors have accused Surrey’s senior coroner of misusing and omitting vital evidence in a "cover up" over seven-year-old Zane Gbangbola's death.
The Chertsey schoolboy died in 2014 when an old landfill site behind the family’s Thameside home was inundated with floodwater.
An inquest ruled Zane's death was an accident due to carbon monoxide exposure, from a petrol pump the family hired to reduce the water levels.
But Spelthorne Borough Council was told on Thursday night (September 10) that both a fire service incident report and Zane's dad's medical records – which councillors said were known to coroner Richard Travers, but not called as evidence – point to hydrogen cyanide as the cause.
In an extraordinary meeting, Councillor Ian Beardsmore said: "This is a tragedy and a cover up that surrounds it and that's where the distaste lies.
"COBRA met at 5 o’clock [on the day of the incident] to discuss this issue - that is how important this was.
"We know Porton Down were called in to examine this site; Porton Down are not called in because of carbon monoxide on a faulty pump."
He added: "It's the way the facts were used, not used, or misused, in the inquest. That is where the anger lies, that so much important evidence, so many facts, so many statements were either ignored or simply not allowed to be presented."
The council is writing to Home Secretary Priti Patel to express its "deep unease and anger at the way this issue has been dealt with so far".
Thirty one councillors voted unanimously, with no abstentions, to call for an immediate and full independent panel inquiry into the tragedy.
Zane's mum Nicole Lawler and dad Kye Gbangbola have been campaigning for years for such an inquiry, in a similar vein to Hillsborough.
Mr Gbangbola was left paralysed from the waist down from the same event that killed his son.
After watching the meeting, he said: "Despite our deep frustration these past 79 months, we have harboured a hope that authorities would change and start to do the right thing.
"Zane would have been starting Year 9 this week with his many friends. Added to our deep grief, we feel the constant, quiet pain of the inconsistencies and cruel disposition imposed on us."
Councillor Christopher Bateson told Spelthorne Borough Council: “Zane’s father’s medical record states unequivocally that HCN (hydrogen cyanide) is the cause of his paralysis. The coroner refused to accept his medical record as evidence.
"There is much controversy surrounding the use or not of the pump. The coroner stated that it had been run until it was dry of fuel.
"When this pump was handed to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for examination, it still contained fuel in sufficient quantity for it to be run again, on not one, but two separate occasions. This contradicts the coroner's statement.
"The same HSE examiner also stated that, had carbon monoxide been present in sufficient quantity to cause harm, it would have lingered for sufficient enough time to have been measured."
Councillor Beardsmore said he wanted an inquiry "for the sake of the family, for the sake of justice and for the sake of all our residents".
He said: "This isn't something we’ve heard about on Facebook, this is here, now, with us.
"This is something we all live with and it could have been any one of us."
Councillor Veena Siva, leader of the Labour group and borough councillor for Staines, said the council's support has been a long time coming. She said: "It is utterly scandalous that Spelthorne Borough Council who represent the Gbangbolas have thus far not supported their call for an independent panel inquiry (IPI).
"No coroner is infallible, as we know from Hillsborough and Stephen Lawrence and Gosport Hospital, and there’s crucial evidence that must be seen and heard in an IPI.”
original article here>>
Thursday 10 September 2020 at 6pm
Venue: Skype video conference call
Members of the public may hear the proceedings by tuning into the Council’s YouTube channel:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__Oyu8OHOZI&;feature=youtu.be
Spelthorne are holding an extraordinary council meeting on 10th September at 6pm to consider the following motion concerning the death of Zane Gbangbola 6 years ago:-
“This council is deeply concerned that the tragic events surrounding the death of 7 year old Zane Gbangbola, and the paralysing of his father have not been adequately dealt with. The tragedy occurred during the floods of 2014 when an old waste site behind the family’s house was inundated with water. We believe crucial evidence on the potentially toxic nature of the site has been ignored. The recent claims of the dumping of toxic waste behind the house by a nearby military institution, only serves to make it more important that the truth behind this terrible incident be uncovered.
To this end within 14 working days this Council resolves to:
1) Write to the Secretary of State for the Home Department in the strongest possible terms expressing its deep unease and anger at the way this issue has been dealt with so far and
2) Call for an immediate, full Independent Panel Inquiry (similar to Hillsborough) into this tragedy and all the events surrounding it.
3) this letter to the Secretary of State is open to be signed by the leaders of all political groups on Spelthorne Council and
4) the letter is featured prominently on Spelthorne Council’s web site and in attendant Council publicity.
You can listen in to most of Spelthorne’s meeting on their YouTube channel. They are broadcast live and then available to watch later.
The link for this meeting can be found here…
We do not know where this will lead or what will happen. We want actions not words we will reassess things after the 10th when the meeting has been held. There must be a full and fearless investigation from an independent panel inquiry with powers to compel disclosure into Zane’s death. It has been almost 7 years on since Zane’s passing and he was only 7 years old when he died. This has simply taken too long.
A couple who believe their son died as a result of chemical waste being dumped near their home say a document has come to light backing their claim.
An inquest ruled Zane Gbangbola died aged seven from carbon monoxide poisoning in 2014.
But his parents say he was poisoned by gases washed out of the land during floods in Chertsey, Surrey.
They say a planning document reveals a buried canister which gave off a noxious smell was found nearby in 1972.
Kye Gbangbola and Nicole Lawler said this tallied with information that had already emerged about the alleged dumping of chemicals near their home.
Earlier this year, a former Ministry of Defence engineer made claims to the BBC that subcontractors working for a tank research facility dumped chemical waste in gravel pits around Chertsey, including behind the family's house.
The whistleblower told the BBC the chemicals would have been put into drums that rusted and corroded over the years, allowing chemicals to leach into the ground.
Because the BBC agreed to protect his identity it was unable to verify the claims.
The latest information was revealed in planning documents submitted by Esso for an aviation fuel pipeline from Southampton to London.
The documents described how boreholes were drilled into the Lavenders landfill site in 1972 but in one borehole the drilling "appeared to strike a metal canister... which released a substance that effervesced with water in the borehole and gave rise to an 'obnoxious smell'."
Zane's parents said the 1972 incident supported their version of events and have made fresh calls for independent tests.
They have been backed by environmental consultant Paul Mobbs who said, until regulations changed in the 1990s, drums of waste would be buried alongside other landfill.
He said: "There could be drums of anything in there.
"Today, landfill is all managed and they have got an exact map. The tipping plan for Lavenders is quite literally a line on a map."
He backed the couple's concerns and their calls for independent testing of the land, adding: "We won't know what's in there until they go around and drill holes and test it."
After Zane died during floods in 2014, his death was attributed by a coroner to carbon monoxide poisoning from a petrol-powered pump used by the couple to clear floodwater, but which they insist was not in use.
They said floods forced hydrogen cyanide out of the land, which killed Zane and left his father paralysed.
Ms Lawler said: "Disturbing the ground puts residents at risk as well as workers. Kye and I do not want anyone else to grieve a death or suffer life-changing injury."
She said: "The land should be independently tested."
Link to original BBC article 6 August 2020 >>
I hope that you are all staying safe and the lockdown has it's hidden joys.
3 years ago a family member said “To be Black (or Brown) and poor in this world means that justice does not exist for you and your life means NOTHING.
What's the point in calling for JUSTICE when the definition isn't the same for you?
What's the point in being law-abiding when they will always see you as a threat?
What's the point in telling someone to "be safe" when the streets, the institutions and this world are not.
What's the point in saying it will get better when for hundreds of years, the injustice, inequality and racism remains the same albeit in different forms.”
Never are her words more true than now. Be safe, injustice, these are words that mean different things to different people and when I look at what is happening in the world right now and I reflect on our ongoing battle for the TruthAboutZane, I can’t put my hand on my heart and say I don’t believe that if Zane was a white boy, if we were a white family and not from jewel heritage, that we didn’t have an African family name, we wouldn’t have been treated differently.
The outcome would certainly be the same, the lies, corruption, cover- up BUT the micro aggressive behaviours we experience, the profiling, the dehumanisation by the institutionally racist police and others in authority, I argue would have not existed.
Zane was a beautiful and innocent little brown boy, did his life matter?
In 2014, seven-year-old Zane died. His family say toxic gases from a landfill site killed their son. Six years on, they’re still awaiting justice.
Hundreds of delegates were silent at Black members’ conference today as they listened to the tragic story of Zane Gbangbola, whose family say that he was killed by hydrogen cyanide poisoning.
Zane’s father, Kye (pictured), spoke calmly and with great dignity as he described how, after years of fighting for the truth, he is still confronted daily with silence from the authorities involved.
“Zane deserves justice, he deserves the truth. I’m sure many of you in the audience have children and I would not wish what has happened to me and my family to ever happen again,” he said.
“Yet until we get to the truth, there is a very real chance that a similar disaster could occur, particularly as the risk of flooding increases with climate change.”
The Gbangbola family’s nightmare began on 8 February 2014 when severe weather warnings were announced across of England. As Zane slept upstairs at his home in Chertsey, Surrey, a flash flood of water from a neighbouring field started seeping into their home.
It was later revealed that this field had previously been used for landfill and hydrogen cyanide can lurk in such sites. This gas is so deadly that it was the one used to kill millions in the Nazi gas chambers during the Holocaust.
“It was my wife Nicole who alerted the emergency services that night as both Zane and I were seriously exposed to the gas and were unconscious. If she hadn’t dialled 999, it is very likely that many more people would have been killed.”
Tragically, Zane died that night and Kye, who was also exposed to the gas, suffered a cardiac arrest. He is now a paraplegic as a result of his injuries. Nicole was downstairs when the gas entered the house and survived without permanent injury, as hydrogen cyanide is lighter than air and the gas had risen to the top of the house.
A report by the Surrey Fire Service that night confirmed that high levels of hydrogen cyanide were found at the site.
Yet despite Zane’s death, Kye’s injuries, the official fire service report, the immediate presence of the world leading chemical weapons agency Porton Down at the site, and the fact that the Gbangbolas were not allowed to return to their home for 12 months, the family soon realised that the truth of what had happened that night was to be hidden from them.
For six years, they claim that the government has led a cover up of the truth.
At Zane’s inquest, the Gbangbola family was confronted with an army of top QCs and barristers. Each of the five authorities involved had its own team of legal experts – plus an additional team for the coroner.
“These teams were paid for from public funds,” said Kye. “By contrast, we were denied legal aid three times and had to crowdfund to afford the most basic representation.
“Zane was a beautiful and popular seven-year-old schoolboy who loved helping people and charities with his mummy and daddy,” said Kye. “At the inquest though, he was stripped of his human right to have his case heard by a jury. When you talk about equality of arms, it was tantamount to having multiple Goliaths bombarding a naked David.”
The inquest concluded that Zane died of carbon monoxide poisoning – a gas more commonly associated with home gas boilers – despite the fact that no dangerous levels of carbon monoxide were found at Zane’s home on the night of disaster and the family lived in an electric-only home.
The Truth About Zane campaign is now demanding an independent panel enquiry so that the truth of what happened that night and the risk posed by land fill sites across the UK can be fully exposed.
The British Medical Journal has identified that more than 50 million people in the UK live within 2km of landfill and, until there is an enquiry, the potential risk of similar disasters occurring will not be known.
“An independent panel enquiry is the way that Hillsborough finally got the truth after years of lies and misinformation,” explained Kye. “It’s a way of releasing information that has been locked away for years.”
Over the last six years, The Truth About Zane campaign has attracted widespread support from many politicians, organisations and trade unions, including UNISON and the Fire Brigades’ Union, whose members were at the scene on the night of Zane’s death. The Labour Party and the Green Party support the campaign too.
At the end of his speech, delegates at Black members’ conference gave Kye a standing ovation and collected donations in buckets to help fund the campaign.
“I thank you for your support in fighting this injustice,” said Kye. “Please show this support by signing our petition and pre-ordering a copy of our book. Together, we can find the truth about Zane and prevent similar disasters happening again in the future.”
Find out more – and pre-order a copy of The Truth About Zane – at www.truthaboutzane.com
Sign the petition for an independent investigation into Zane’s death
Legal Aid Agency refuse
3 times to grant family legal aid for inquest