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.
Legal Aid Agency refuse
3 times to grant family legal aid for inquest