Public Health England documents confirm LETHAL HYDROGEN CYANIDE GAS WAS DETECTED IN HOME OF BOY, 7,
Investigations at a former landfill site behind a house where a seven-year-old boy died are to take place as soon as possible, councillors have said.
Zane Gbangbola died during floods in 2014 - his parents say he was killed by hydrogen cyanide washed out of the tip.
Now Spelthorne council's environment and sustainability committee has voted to take action at the site in Chertsey.
Committee chairman Ian Beardsmore said tests had not been carried out and it was "the right thing to do".
An inquest ruled Zane's death was an accident caused by carbon monoxide poisoning from a petrol pump brought in by his family to get rid of floodwater.
However, his parents Kye Gbangbola and Nicole Lawler always disputed the findings and said the pump was never in use.
Mr Gbangbola, who was paralysed in the incident, and Ms Lawler have now obtained Public Health England (PHE) papers backing their claims.
The papers, released to the family under a Freedom of Information request, include one document stating: "The house had three generators (1 x petrol, not operating, and 2 electric 1 of which was operating) in basement."
The document also said fire service testing detected no carbon monoxide.
A further note said firefighters confirmed "three hits" in the property for "hydrogen cyanide".
It said long-term exposure to the gas could cause cardiac arrest, adding: "The property has been flooded for the last 6-7 weeks with the family continuing to live in it - the [redaction] has been trying to pump out the basement and garden and the son has been in the flood water and garden."
Mr Gbangbola has told the BBC that his son never lived in the flooded areas of the home and only the basement was flooded. He said: "All habitable areas were dry and clean."
'Tests must be independent'Circulating the documents to the committee, Mr Beardsmore called for a report before 9 November stating how the authority would act in examining the site.
He said: "This is not ifs, buts or maybe, but how and when."
He said it needed to be decided whether action could be taken under emergency planning, contaminated land or health and safety legislation.
The committee voted unanimously in favour of action, but Mr Gbangbola said afterwards: "The tests must be comprehensive and done independently."
He also appealed to anyone with information to contact the BBC, adding: "Just do the right thing and tell the truth as you would expect others to do had your child been killed."
PHE said its staff, including the Porton Down-based Emergency Response Department, supported the 2013-14 flood response, and it later provided written evidence to the inquest.
It said Dr John Thompson from the PHE-commissioned National Poisons Information Service gave his expert opinion.
A spokesman for the coroner said: "An independent, full, frank and fearless inquest into the death of Zane Gbangbola was concluded in September 2016.
"The coroner's detailed explanation of his findings and conclusion has been available since the end of the inquest."
Mr Gbangbola said PHE were not present at the inquest, but "totally absent". He called for an explanation from the coroner.
Original BBC article by Tanya Gupta
AS IT EMERGES SPELTHORNE BOROUGH COUNCIL WANTS TO INVESTIGATE THE FORMER LANDFILL SITE IN CHERTSEY WHERE ZANE GBANGBOLA DIED, LUCY MAYER TALKS TO HIS MOTHER NICOLE.
Revealed: Lethal hydrogen cyanide gas was detected in home of boy, 7, who died from toxic fumes after it was flooded - By MICHAEL POWELL FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY
Boris Johnson is facing calls to order a public inquiry into the death of a schoolboy after the release of official documents sparked claims of a cover-up.
The files reveal that lethal hydrogen cyanide gas was detected in the home of seven-year-old Zane Gbangbola, who died from toxic fumes seven years ago after his family’s home in Chertsey, Surrey, was flooded.
His parents insist he was killed by the deadly gas, which had seeped from toxic waste dumped in a former landfill site nearby.
But in 2016, a coroner ruled the boy had been poisoned by carbon monoxide from a petrol-powered pump used to clear floodwater.
Now, The Mail on Sunday has obtained more than 100 pages of emails and an incident log written by Public Health England officials.
These reveal that hydrogen cyanide was detected three times in the house by firefighters using specialist gas-testing equipment – but no carbon monoxide was found – and that the pump blamed for the tragedy was not even used.
They also show that despite the cyanide readings, senior officials briefed the media that Zane’s death was the result of carbon monoxide poisoning. Public health officials were warned not to mention hydrogen cyanide as a potential cause.
Pleading with the Prime Minister to intervene, Zane’s parents, Kye and Nicole, last night said: ‘We believe the authorities lied pretty much from the moment that we lost our son.
‘That is why we call on Boris Johnson to do the decent thing and open an independent panel inquiry so we can finally get to the truth and get justice for Zane.’
A petition launched by the couple has attracted 110,000 signatures, and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is backing their campaign.
Sir Keir said: ‘I fully support their campaign for an independent panel inquiry to finally get to the truth about Zane’s tragic death.’
Pressure for an inquiry increased last year when a retired Ministry of Defence engineer told the BBC that military contractors dumped chemical waste in gravel pits close to the family’s home.
It also emerged that experts from the top-secret Porton Down defence laboratory rushed to the scene.
The documents obtained by the MoS – which were not disclosed to the coroner – provide fresh detail about what happened after Zane’s mother found him at their riverside home on February 8, 2014.
He was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital; his father was paralysed. The cause was determined as exposure to cyanide.
An entry on the PHE incident log at 9.49am reveals that the fire service had ‘positively identified HCN (hydrogen cyanide) gas on three occasions at the property’, adding that ‘continuous exposure to HCN builds up in the blood and can produce cardiac arrest type symptoms’ and that Zane and his parents ‘may have had extended exposure to the low levels of HCN over a period of weeks’.
By 7.24pm, public health officials were being encouraged to focus on carbon monoxide poisoning.
But an internal update from the Surrey Police Gold Commander 40 minutes later makes clear that cyanide had been detected and the petrol pump had not been in use.
PHE denied it had come under pressure to focus on carbon monoxide as the cause of Zane’s death.
It added that its experts had provided evidence and documents to the coroner and that an expert from the PHE-commissioned National Poisons Information Service had also appeared at the inquest.
A spokesman for Richard Travers, the Surrey Coroner, said the six-week inquest had been ‘independent, full, frank and fearless’ and that ‘a substantial amount of evidence including that from in excess of 70 witnesses’ had been heard.
Original article here >>
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