Daily Archives: March 1, 2009

Barbados Advocate (Finally) Publishes Prof. Machel’s Investigation Of Arch Cot Cave-In Deaths

I then submitted this letter for publication to both THE BARBADOS ADVOCATE and THE DAILY NATION. Neither of them dared to print my submission, even though one of them had at first indicated to me in no unmistaken terms that they were intent on printing it word-for-word in their Jan 30¬† edition. I have no doubt that pressure was applied that forced this retraction. Thus, the conspiracy of silence continues…

… Professor Hans G. Machel as published in the February 1, 2009 Barbados Free Press article Barbados Newspapers Refuse To Print Letter Revealing Secret Government Report Into Cave-In Deaths. Professor Machel Will Name¬†Names

“At first, the children were heard screaming in agony…”

The Sunday, March 1, 2009 edition of the Barbados Advocate contains a major eight page article on the caves of Barbados and the deaths of the Codrington family of five when their home fell into a collapsing cave. The author, Professor Hans Machel, is a specialist in earth and atmospheric sciences at the University of Alberta, Canada who has spent many years studying our island.

Why did the Barbados Advocate newspaper choose to publish Machel’s article almost a month after their initial cowardly refusal? Did the paper’s editors suddenly grow a cojon? (Yes, singular is all we will give them credit for at this time.) OR… did they wait for a month until someone from the current Barbados DLP Government considered the situation and gave the paper permission to publish after deciding it was a good strategic move that didn’t impact any DLP bigshots?

Your guess is as good as ours, but it is good to see the Barbados Advocate printing Professor Machel’s article which is an expanded version of the articles first published at Barbados Free Press.

Citizens would do well to grab a paper before the story disappears again. The Barbados Advocate has made their Sunday edition available online as an image file at their website LINK HERE. To read the article online, you have to click where it says “Today’s Paper” and then view from page 33 to page 40. The story will disappear in a day because it is not posted as normal web page that will remain available.


Here is some of what Professor Machel says in the article…

“The deaths of the Codrington family were entirely avoidable for two reasons: the house that they had lived in should never have been built on that site, and the imminent collapse of the huge cave underneath was not recognised or ignored.”

“…the property had a covenant or deed restriction attached to it for several decades, which limited what the owner of the land can do with it. This covenant stipulated that one shall not build on this land because of the cave underneath. Not surprisingly, when a former owner of the property attempted to get a building permit, it was denied by the authorities. He then sold the property, and yet the new owner erected the ill-fated house anyway, having received a building permit in 1982. One has to wonder how the authorities were ‘persuaded’ to deem the property safe after this history, and the suspicion is warranted that something grossly negligent if not illegal happened here.”

“Despite all this, the tragedy could have been avoided, had somebody not made a fateful – and as it turned out fatal – decision in the days preceding the cave collapse…”

PDF Copy of Professor Machel’s Article

Thanks to Professor Machel for providing us with this PDF copy of his article…



Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Corruption, Disaster, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption