A bombshell report proves a little boy gassed to death as he slept WAS killed by toxic fumes from contaminated water, say his outraged parents.
Tests on the body of seven-year-old Zane Gbangbola were inconclusive.
The official line was that he died from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a faulty pump dealing with floodwater at the family home.
But a year on, Zane’s parents Nicole and Kye say a damning dossier of council evidence indicates their boy was killed by hydrogen cyanide fumes from a flooded lake on an old landfill site near the house.
"We’ve spent all this time fighting for justice for our son, and been made to feel we were looking for something that wasn’t there – just parents blinded by grief.
“But these documents prove not only did the council know about the risks of a landfill site only yards behind our home, and the home of other residents, but they tested the land, found it was highly contaminated, but then decided not to tell the people living next door.
“It is either sheer incompetence or a complete cover-up. Either way, we want heads to roll.”
Zane was overcome by fumes in February 2014 as he slept upstairs while floodwater caused by massive rainfall filled the basement of the family home in Chertsey, Surrey.
The whole family was rushed to hospital but Zane could not be resuscitated. Nicole and Kye, 49, were both diagnosed with hydrogen cyanide poisoning, which has left company director Kye paralysed from the waist down.
But a pathologist’s report blamed Zane’s death on carbon monoxide.
The couple have spent a year seeking answers from Spelthorne Borough Council and the Environment Agency.
They claim the new report from the council proves Zane was also poisoned by hydrogen cyanide and that the council KNEW the old landfill site was a risk to residents but did nothing about it.
Hydrogen cyanide has long been linked to old landfill sites.
But Nicole and Kye had no idea they were near such a site because it didn’t show up in any of the searches when they bought their house in 2004.
Nicole said: “The local authority chose not to warn us about the risks. If they had just been honest, Zane would still be alive.
"They and the Environment Agency had many opportunities to tell us the land was contaminated and we were at risk.”
The council’s dossier of evidence details how the 135-acre site was used for gravel excavation then filled with building waste.
In April 2010, the Environment Agency commissioned a report into the land and the gravel-pit lake as a cottage for its own staff was being built next door to Zane’s home.
Engineers Peter Brett Associates reported: “The landfill site to the east of the site presents a possible current source of landfill gas.”
Olivia Flint, the council’s Contaminated Land Officer, “confirmed landfilling had taken place” adding: “The potential for contamination to be present in the immediate vicinity of the east of the site is considered to be high.”
Potential contaminants were listed as carbon dioxide and methane which, when mixed with water, can form hydrogen cyanide.
The report estimated the health risk as “Moderate/Low” and recommended action to make the cottage safe from land gases. But the council decided not to take up suggested work to make the site safer.
Another report in 2005 commissioned by land owner Brett Aggregates detailed how tests showed a high concentration of gases and toxins but it was not made public.
A statement from Spelthorne Council denied advising against testing the site to save money, adding: “The council has no evidence to suggest there is a link between this tragic death and the landfill.
“Extensive research has been done by the council into the historical use of land close to the Gbangbola home. The land is not contaminated as defined by the relevant legislation.”
The statement added the cause of death will be “for the coroner to determine” at an inquest.
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