Daily Archives: September 17, 2007

Barbados Apartment Collapse: The Machine That Could Have Saved The Codrington Family Costs Half The Price Of The Prime Minister’s Lexus


The mass death of the Codrington family was a tragedy, but how they died was no accident. Their deaths were a result of the negligence of a number of people and entities who failed to act, acted negligently or misjudged.

Any truthful inquest will show what area residents know already: the Codringtons were failed by their government, ministries of government and the very professionals whose duty it is to protect us all.

After The Deaths, Barbados Spends A Lousy US$50,000 For The Machine That (Could Have) Would Have Saved The Codrington Family

It took the horrific deaths of five sleeping Barbadians to spur the government into purchasing the relatively inexpensive equipment that should have been purchased years ago. Common equipment that is in widespread use around the world. Equipment that would have saved the Codrington family.

If only the government had purchased a ground penetrating radar machine before their deaths, there would have been no need for a funeral for Donavere 30, Cassandra 27, Shaquanda 7, Shaquille 3 and Yashiro 1.

According to witnesses, at least two weeks prior to the disaster there were indications that something was seriously wrong at the construction site near the Codrington family’s apartment. Any truthful inquest into their deaths will have to reveal the cracking that appeared and the engineers who were called in for an assessment. Any truthful inquest will reveal incidents that happened at the construction site well in advance of the deadly collapse.

Despite the problems, no tests were conducted with modern ground penetrating radar – which would have shown the tremendous danger and the impending disaster. No stop-work order was issued. No precautionary order to evacuate the nearby apartments and homes was issued.

Somebody probably even used the words, “Ahhh, should be OK. Keep working guys!” (The words are a guess on our part, but the fact that somebody ordered the work to continue after the problems were known is not a guess.)

Ground penetrating radar would have resulted in stop work order and a precautionary evacuation of residents, but in a country full of caves and voids we didn’t have one. Why Not?

Fact Of Life In Barbados: Underground Caves And Voids

There have been cave and landslip problems in Barbados forever and having to be wary of underground voids during construction has always been a fact of life on our island. Bore holes (test holes) are typically drilled in Barbados, but modern ground penetrating radar has been available for decades – and as with all things electronic, modern computerized equipment is available at a fraction of what it cost ten years ago.

But in a nation that is riddled with thousands of underground fissures, caves and sinkholes the government had not purchased this relatively cheap piece of equipment that is in common use all over the world. How inexpensive are the units?

The cost of some ground penetrating radar units is little more than the price difference between the Prime Minister’s Lexus and a lower-priced Toyota. (Retail Pricing In the USA: Toyota Highlander, US$27,300 – Lexus GX-08, US$46,815)

Even with Barbados’ long history of cave and landslip problems, and even after problems underground when building the new office complex at Warrens (over a hundred million dollar contract and no tender issued!) and underground troubles with numerous condo projects and other buildings over the last decade, the government did not purchase ground penetrating radar for a paltry US$50,000. Why Not?

But We Had A Hell Of A Cricket Party!!!

How much did we spend on Cricket World Cup? Half a billion US$? A billion US$? You, me and our neighbours will never know. Nobody came, but we spent a bloody fortune that our children will be paying for … for how long? Who knows!

What was it to rent a luxury cruise ship? US$10 million? I forget… Adrian Loveridge would know but they have silenced him too. (You tried for years to make a difference Adrian, but keep your head down or the government will destroy you.)

How much did we spend sending Mia and company to beg in China? How much did we spend purchasing the GEMS Hotels? (You’ll never know. NEVER.)

A third of a billion for the prison, a quarter of a billion for some flyovers and road widening and that’s not over yet! (Hey… you just wait.)

We’ve had 14 years of borrow and spend for “mega-projects”, but during that time our government ignored the basics. Many of our elderly women still haul water in pails the same as their slave ancestors did. Despite all the deaths and lives ruined, we have no modern drinking and driving law. No breathalizers or other modern equipment for our police officers. (Breathalizers cost a lousy US$500 – the PM often spends more than that on dinner.)

The hospital hasn’t enough staff, supplies or money to maintain it and keep it clean. It is filthy inside. Even our own members of government fly to the USA for treatment rather than stay at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

We don’t pay our police officers or prison guards and other government employees for months.

But By God, We Had A Hell Of A Cricket Party!

No lights in our 100 million dollar stadium though. No ambulances at the airport. No video cameras for our firefighters to search for trapped persons. Millions of dollars of air traffic control equipment sitting unused because … why? You tell us, Mr. Prime Minister!

Barbados Has No Building Code

After 14 years of majority government, Barbados still has no Building Code law. Oh sure, we have a few drafts and such, but these are voluntary – not law. No building standards. No legal requirement for site inspections. No laws to protect people as there are in countries with responsible governments.

But We Had A Hell Of A Cricket Party!

Tell us this, Mr. Prime Minister…

Why in a country full of caves and underground voids, did you not spend a lousy Fifty Thousand Dollars to save the Codrington family?

Why not?

Reference: Nation News – GPR Device Soon To Check Rock


Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Disaster, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

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Filed under Barbados