The parents of a seven-year-old boy who died from toxic fumes in his home have delivered a petition of 117,000 signatures to Downing Street demanding a public inquiry.
Firefighters and Zane Gbangbola’s parents urged Liz Truss ‘end the cover-up’ during her last days as Prime Minister.
Zane died during flooding in Chertsey, Surrey, in 2014. Cyanide is suspected to have seeped in from an old military landfill site.
As Environment Secretary, Liz Truss pledged to ‘resolve this case as quickly as possible’ – but eight years later Zane’s parents are still fighting authorities for answers.
Kye, Zane's daddy, who was permanently disabled by the same poison that killed his son, spoke to a crowd of supporters on top of a fire engine outside Parliament. He said: “Today would have been Zane’s 16th birthday. It is not, because Zane was killed when nerve agent entered our home. We ask the Prime Minister Liz Truss to give Zane an independent panel inquiry with full disclosure to reveal the truth. Little children should not die from gas that was used to kill people in WW2 from secret landfills. The independent panel inquiry must report in full, it must be transparent and it must hold to account those doing things they should not have been doing.”
The campaign has the support of many Jeremy Corbyn and
prominent Labour MPs including Keir Starmer, Andy Burnham, and Steven Reed, the Shadow Justice Minister, who pledged to open an inquiry if his party wins the next general election. Within the Independent Panel Inquiry, a key demand is an investigation into the landfill site which borders the Gbangbola home in Chertsey, Surrey, where the MoD reportedly dumped toxic waste from a tank factory, according to an anonymous MoD whistleblower.
Baroness Natalie Bennett also backs the campaign and is pushing for the introduction of “Zane’s law” which would grant extra powers and resources to local governments to investigate contaminated land.
She said: “It would bring in a law to restore powers for local governments to check out similar sites around the country to make sure no other child is put at risk. I have been with this campaign since 2016. I did put down amendments in the last planning bill we had and in the future I will be looking to put down more.”
His mother Nicole said: "We stand before you as Zane’s grieving parents and wish to thank each and everyone of you who have come today, who have spoken here, who have signed Zane’s petition, who have not crossed the road when they saw this horrific injustice. Little children, should not be tucked up at night, and fear, they will not wake up, in the morning.'
'So much has been invested into today, into this petition thousands of hours and miles walking around asking people to sign Zane’s petition, so many times have we had to retell of our heartbreak and ask strangers to listen to our crys. We deliver this petition as a cry for help, a cry for truth and a cry for an honest investigation into what happen to our son.'
Unable to hold back the tears Zane's mummy continued 'Zane is not just a lie on a death certificate, No child was ever loved more, and we will die fighting if we have to.'
We will continue to fight until we undo the lies that dishonour our precious little boy, so he can finally rest in peace. Zane did not die accidentally; he was unlawfully killed. The evidence is there. Zane died, the authorities lied.
'Thank you for allowing us to be Zane’s voice today.''
Backed by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), whose members responded to the tragedy at the time, Kye and Nicole say "key evidence" was left out of the inquest.
A flawed inquest blamed Zane’s death on fumes from a petrol pump used to clear floodwater despite ample evidence and testimony the pump was not in use.
But the Mail on Sunday found official files that showed hydrogen cyanide was detected in Zane’s home the night he died, and incident logs said the petrol pump had not been in use.
A Government spokesman told the Mail on Sunday: ‘The Environment Agency provided detailed evidence to assist the independent coroner in reaching his conclusions.'
We are reminded millions are wasted by UK public services in cover-up but it is not just a financial matter: in child abuse, the NHS and corruption, lives are ruined. From 1984 to 2016 (Orgreave, Hillsborough and Rotherham) is the most flagrant example. Hillsborough alone accounts for over £116M in legal costs so far with no costs to those who misrepresented the evidence.
TruthAboutZane are honoured to be supporters of the coalition of justice campaigns that is HillsboroughLawNow.