“… The rescue team took several hours to arrive at the scene, and hardly anything was done for several more hours. These were the most crucial hours to save lives, yet they passed with nary anything being done! In the Barbados Advocate from January 8, 2009, Major Binks, the leader of the rescue team, is reported to have spent the first 26 (!) hours looking down at the hole and, in his own words, ‘ended-up as the on-scene supervisor’.”
“We were stunned when we learnt how the rescue operation was conducted, specifically, that the southern part of the ill-fated house/building, the one that had survived the initial cave collapse, was bulldozed only about 2 days after the cave collapse right on top of the part that had already gone down. If somebody was still alive at that time under the rubble..”
“… experience from places with frequent earthquakes, such as Turkey or Japan or China, tells us that the way to proceed is to remove the rubble from collapsed buildings by forming human chains as soon as possible, and to carry out the rubble piece-by-piece as fast as possible. Surely the larger rubble and fragments of the collapsed house would have been too heavy to move by hand. But most of the smaller rubble could have been carried out in this fashion within a few hours, aided by lifting the larger pieces with cranes… Such hand-and-foot operations have pulled out victims alive in periods ranging from a few hours to several days… up to a week later…”
… from the March 15, 2009 Barbados Advocate article Responsibility and Culpability in the Brittons Hill – Arch Cot Cave Collapse by Prof. Hans G. Machel and Richard Goddard (download the article at the bottom of this page)
Barbados Advocate Article Reveals More About Codrington Deaths – But Still Hides Details From The Public
There are many villains who must bear responsibility for the deaths of an entire Barbados family whose members died after their house fell into a collapsing cave at Arch Cot. Horrifically, we know that members of the Codrington family did not die all at the same time. As he was trapped in the rubble, Donavere (the father) talked to people at the scene after the initial event. Some of the children could be heard screaming for a time.
Although we have been denied a public inquest by two successive governments, Bajans now know some of what happened thanks to the efforts of Hans Machel, Richard Goddard and a handful of others who, unlike Barbados politicians, still care about the truth and the public good. No thanks to the professional Barbados news media who are (or were, in the case of the Barbados Advocate) part of the cover-up to protect the members of the Bajan nobility who murdered the Codringtons.
The five Codringtons were murdered just as surely as if someone had put a gun to their heads and pulled the trigger – especially in the crimes that were committed when the ticking-time-bomb of a house was built upon a known cave.
“It could have happened to anyone” said then-Attorney General Dale Marshall before the bodies had even been pulled from the rubble.
Yes, of course it could have happened to anyone in Barbados with people like Dale Marshall in positions of power and authority – who are part of and responsible for the corrupt public institutions that issued the building permits and failed in their duty to protect innocent citizens.
Cricket Parties & Rotten Hotels Instead Of Highly Trained, Well-Equipped Rescue Personnel
It could have happened to anyone because our leaders would rather spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a cricket party or worn-out rotten hotels while our fire fighters use hand-me-down, worn and obsolete equipment donated from New York and Canada. It could have happened to anyone because our leaders would rather rub elbows in Zurich and New York City and disguise London shopping holidays as government working trips rather than send our emergency personnel for a month of real training in the USA. It could have happened to anyone because our leaders expend their energies padding their offshore bank accounts and building homes in Barbados, Miami and London instead of devoting themselves to the public interest.
Our emergency personnel, Major Binks included, did the best they could with what little training and equipment they had. Were I a firefighter, police officer, military man or with other emergency services in Barbados I would go to bed every night cursing the names of the damned politicians and bureaucrats who refused to purchase modern thermal imaging equipment that can locate victims but have no trouble leasing BMWs and Mercedes for Cabinet Ministers.
Dale Marshall, Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley and others of the BLP and DLP political and business elites were part of the cover-up right from the start and it continues to this day with the David Thompson DLP government.
Rule of law? Public accountability? Transparency? To generations of Barbados politicians these terms are nothing except words to be dangled as electoral bait, a means to an end.
And now it comes to this. Five people died because Barbados does not obey or have the rule of law. Five people died because we have no standards and we ignore what few standards that we do have. And some of the Codringtons may have also died because our leadership provides the bare minimum in funding, training and equipment to our emergency services and then leaves them holding the bag when it all goes wrong.
Name The Names! If Government Won’t Hold A Public Enquiry, The People Must.
Even the Barbados Advocate who should at least be thanked for finally printing a series of stories a year and a half late (and only after Barbados Free Press started the series) still refuses to name names. In this latest article, the person who built the house is called “the person who had the ill-fated house built”. The original owner of the lot is called “the owner”. The surveyor called to examine the cave in the days before the murders is called “the surveyor”. The person who gave the go-ahead to continue construction four days before the murders is called “someone with technical knowledge” and on and on and on.
Prime Minister Thompson: Show some leadership. Stop the damned cover-up whatever the cost. Bajans don’t want “sacrificial lambs” or false promises and excuses. We want true accountability for those responsible and a thorough and public enquiry so we can all understand which individuals and what systemic faults caused or contributed to this tragedy at every level. And then we want REAL CHANGE.
Dammit, Prime Minister Thompson. Show some integrity and some leadership.
March 15, 2009 Barbados Advocate article Responsibility and Culpability in the Brittons Hill – Arch Cot Cave Collapse