Category Archives: Building Collapse

Remembering Campus Trendz and Arch Cot – years later Barbados still doesn’t have a building code

Passersby heard the screams from Campus Trendz store: no back door and bars on the windows.

“The criminals threw the firebombs, but it was an irresponsible government, building owner and shop owner that made the firebombs inescapable death.”

Barbados Free Press, September 5, 2012 Campus Trendz deaths: What criminals allowed bars on the windows, no fire exits?

by Cliverton

Almost five years after the Campus Trendz slaughter, sleep does not come easily for my friend. In her mind she still sees the weeping desperate men in the smoke at the rear of Campus Trendz – cursing and yelling as they used hand sledges to break through the brick wall all too slowly. She couldn’t watch any longer, she couldn’t listen to the screams any longer and there was nothing the girl could do so she walked away. That haunts her to this day.

Pearl Amanda Cornelius, 18, Kelly Ann Welch, 24, Shanna Griffith, 18, Nikita Belgrave, 23, Tiffany Harding, 23 and Kellisha Ovivierre, 24, burned to death because two evil men robbed the store and smashed flaming bottles of petrol. That is one of the causes of their deaths.

The other cause of their deaths is that Barbados has no enforceable building code. Folks just build as they want to, with no standards as to amount of steel or how rebar is connected. No standards as to fire exits or alternate fire exits through windows. Campus Trendz was a deathtrap from the moment it was constructed, and six young women died because Barbados had no building code to protect them.

Similarly an entire family died at ArchCot when a powerful family (BLP leader Mia Mottley’s family) invested in land over a known cave. How the prohibition against building over the known cave was lifted was never really explained to the public. Just another of those magical Bajan processes very similar to how a BLP Government Minister came to live in a house built on private land that had been expropriated for government purposes.

That Barbados has no building code makes it easier for the corruption and the corrupt to thrive and profit.

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Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Corruption, Crime & Law, Disaster, Politics & Corruption

Chinese contractors in the Caribbean can build it cheap… but then the walls collapse

china fail caribbean

by Afra Raymond

by Afra Raymond

This article is about the Las Alturas Enquiry into the collapse of two new Morvant apartment buildings erected by China Jiangsu International Corporation (CJIC) for the Housing Development Corporation (HDC).

This Enquiry seems a politically-motivated one into a serious failure of professional practice which could have cost human lives. It is only in its opening stages, but it is already clear to me that this episode is one which contains serious lessons for our country in terms of the role of Enquiries; the role of the Chinese contractors; the culture of non-enforcement which we practice and of course, the impact of targets and political objectives on proper process.

In the case of Las Alturas this is a large-scale multiple-housing project constructed on a former quarry-site on the Lady Young Road, just south of the lookout. Two apartment buildings which were completed in late 2010 were eventually declared uninhabitable due to severe cracking and the proposed demolition of those structures was announced at the end of May 2012. Each building comprised 24 three-bedroom/two-bathroom apartments, with the total cost of those buildings stated by HDC to be in the $29M range. The buildings were erected by CJIC on the design/build basis which usually places all responsibility for soil investigation, design and construction onto the contractor…

… continue reading Afra Raymond’s Riding the Dragon

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Filed under Building Collapse, China, Trinidad and Tobago

The Bridges of St. Vincent: Unnecessary deaths and destruction likely to continue.

Christmas 2013: Body bags are the natural result of building on flood plains and failing to clear bridge obstructions.

Christmas 2013: Body bags are the natural result of building on flood plains and failing to clear bridge obstructions.

The future is as dark as the silt-laden waters

by Peter Binose

(Photo courtesy of I-Witness News)

The 3rd Duke of Bridgewater and perhaps even Isambard Kingdom Brunel would turn in their graves if they could see how the Unity Labour Party have neglected our little island’s waterways and bridges to the extent that bridges are destroyed on a regular basis.

It’s ever so simple to comprehend really – streams, rivers and tributaries have to be kept clear of obstructions and siltation on a very regular basis. If this procedure is neglected even for one season,  flooding will ensue which will cause river bank and bridge damage, if not total loss of bridges. Everyone with half a brain knows that, but obviously not the ULP leadership.

Over the last fourteen years just about every bridge on our tiny island of Saint Vincent has suffered serious damage. The rivers are allowed to collect tree trunks and roots and other debris and rubbish without regular round the year maintenance and clearance by teams of work men clearing and burning such vegetation waste. When it rains heavy this debris floats down river and blocks under bridges.

Of course the silt level under bridges is allowed to grow to such an extent that between the debris and the silt, an effective dam is created.

When the silt and debris effectively blocks the water flow under the bridge the water builds up to an enormous pressure that damages the bridge and attached road. The sudden release of a large volume of water rushes down river taking with it the next bridge, if there is one, where the bridge dam sequence and sudden release is repeated on a magnified basis, also taking river banks on its way. Eventually this torrent overflows into the ancient flood plains as has happened for hundreds of thousands of years.  Continue reading

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Filed under Building Collapse, Disaster, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

House collapse disaster in St. Vincent a predictable result of Government negligence and corruption

st vincent house collapse disaster

The ULP’s  Electioneering Housing Scheme Hits a Slippery Slope.

Homes at Clare Valley are now blighted and worthless.

by Peter Binose

When you have evil in your heart you can almost be certain things will inevitably go wrong – the Karma will get you. That’s what has happened, and that’s the basis of the ULP housing schemes. The ULP like to describe them as a “government” housing schemes, but that is not true. They are schemes designed by a political party that is in a position of power – to build houses for their own supporters in areas where the party needs to boost their voting electorate. It is no more and no less than that.

It’s an attempt to move whole swathes of supporters into areas where the ULP have low support. It’s the old British Labour Party style of increasing votes where the party needs votes to get elected. This is a practice invented by the British Labour Party government in the early days when nasty Marxist types and other little red devils ruled the country.

“The ULP had the brilliant idea of acquiring rock-bottom priced land and giving it to political supporters.

Of course these lands had no value because they were problem lands – extreme slopes with soil problems that made construction a dangerous proposition…”

In 1951 the British Labour Party established a scientific socialist revolution and planned to build council houses in the UK for rent and sale in areas that traditionally had low socialist support. They went to pretty little towns and villages of a few hundred or a few thousand people and supplanted a populace that greatly exceeded that of the original people count – sometimes by more than double.

Clare-Valley-houses disaster St Vincent

That is exactly what the ULP government wants to do: plant and install large numbers of people in housing projects in areas where they previously could not get elected. But to do that they must ensure that those who take the houses are grateful to the party and will vote for them come hell or high water. This cannot be a fair government policy; it can only be a party political policy dressed as a government giveaway scheme that benefits a certain section of the populace and excludes others. Continue reading

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Filed under Building Collapse, Disaster, Political Corruption

United Nations says a moderate earthquake or hurricane would destroy 80% of Barbados schools, homes. St. Lucia would lose only 20%.

What makes you think Barbados would fare better than Haiti did in 2010?

What makes you think Barbados would fare better than Haiti did in 2010? 80% of Bajan houses, schools, hotels and public buildings are expected to collapse during a MODERATE hurricane or earthquake! (Source: UN)

Grenville Phillips II sounds the alarm…

… and offers a low cost retro-fit solution for home-owners and government

The Government has indicated that a significant amount of the planned $2.5B new debt is to be used to build new infrastructure. Before spending any of this money on new infrastructure, let me suggest that the Government meaningfully regulate the construction industry.

Having trained over 500 construction personnel around the Caribbean, I can confirm that much of our infrastructure is indeed substandard.  I have spent the past 15 years providing explicit evidence supporting the accurateness of this claim, and while some countries have heeded and improved, Barbados has gone backwards.

The United Nations recently assessed Barbados’ infrastructure and concluded in its Global Assessment Report (2013) that Barbados is expected to suffer probable maximum losses of over 80% of its gross fixed capital formation (buildings, equipment and infrastructure) if we are impacted by a moderate earthquake, or hurricane.  This is the UN’s worst possible assessment category.  For comparison, the UN predicts that neighbouring St Lucia is only expected to suffer probable maximum losses of 10% to 20%.

When will we wake up and realise that we are doing something terribly wrong?  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Consumer Issues, Disaster, Haiti

Stop building on Buccament Bay flood plain – Death is coming again

Ricky Small cries for his dear wife Joselle, who was taken by the raging waters at Buccament Bay Resort.

Ricky Small cries for his dear wife Joselle, who was taken by the raging waters at Buccament Bay Resort.

by Peter Binose

The private housing development along the Buccament River, in fact beside the Buccament river in the flood plain, was going full speed when I visited last week. Express work is taking place on finishing about a dozen further units, with all stages in progress from start up on.

I walked with a family member of the land owners and builders, who told me the family is worried that they may be stopped from building. But he thought perhaps because of the relationship between them and the ULP leadership they had some considerable protection.

Considering the devastation caused by the December 2013 flooding it is unbelievable, perhaps even criminal, that the government has not stopped further building in an area which has been recorded as a disaster zone for centuries. The area is an ancient and modern floodplain, as shown by the follow records going back to 1876!  Continue reading

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Filed under Building Collapse, Disaster, Environment, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

Lawsuit in Arch Cot cave-in deaths

Codrington family survivors seek justice

Five years after five sleeping members of the Codrington family were buried alive when their home collapsed into a known cave, lawyer David Comissiong has announced his intentions to sue the negligent parties on behalf of the surviving family members.

Named in the lawsuit are the Attorney General, the Town Planning Department, apartment building owner Peter Cox, Mahy Ridley Hazzard Engineers Limited, Lemuel Rawlins (original land owner) and Dr. Jerry Emtage, who was constructing a building behind the apartment where the Codringtons died. (Nation News: Arch Cot Suit)

Civil Cases often take 20+ years in Barbados courts

In January of 2012 we predicted that an Arch Cot civil case would be at least 22 years in the Barbados Courts. We didn’t pull that figure from a hat, you know. 22 years is a reasonable estimate based upon the size of the case and the known and proven non-performance of the Barbados Justice system and island lawyers who will be opposing Mr. Comissiong.

See Arch Cot Justice will be delayed another 20 years

BFP will continue to follow the Arch Cot Disaster story

Cover-up: AG Marshall said nobody was to blame

Barbados Free Press followed the story from the early morning of August 26, 2007 and joined the Codrington family survivors in shaming the government into calling an inquest. This was after then Barbados Attorney General Dale Marshall actually announced the results of his ‘investigation’ a mere six days after the disaster by concluding that nobody was to blame.

“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.

It was Barbados Free Press that first published the work of noted Professor Hans G. Machel, who said right out that the deaths were caused by “gross negligence”

“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.”

from BFP’s March 17, 2009 article Expert: Arch Cot Cave-In Victims May Have Been Killed By Wrong Decisions, Actions and Inaction By Barbados Emergency Officials

When Barbados newspapers and electronic news media refused to publish Professor Machel’s letter to Prime Minister David Thompson, Barbados Free Press published the story of how witnesses lived in fear because they know how things go ‘pon de rock…. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Corruption, Disaster

Canadian store collapse brings memories of Barbados cave-in disaster

Where are the men?

Dear Barbados Free Press,

As a Bajan living in Canada I thought you would be interested in the following article from the Toronto Sun newspaper because it made me think about what happened in Bim at the Arch Cot collapse when the police, fire and military dithered for a whole day before venturing into the wreckage. Then they chopped down the apartment wreckage into the hole, without regards to anyone who still might have been alive.

This Toronto Sun article by Joe Warmington points out that people live for over a week in collapsed buildings. That didn’t matter in Barbados and it didn’t matter in Elliot Lake Canada where government prevented rescue teams from entering the building, saying it was “too dangerous”.

Where are the men? Where are those who devote their lives to rescuing others in these kinds of disasters? When the crunch time comes they always seem to fail us.

They always talk about “lessons learned” but never seem to apply those lessons on the next time. The lesson for each of us is that you cannot rely upon the government. You must be prepared to save yourself.

The death certificate for Donavere Codrington says he died two days after the collapse and that fact got short shift at the inquest.

The Sun article says that Elliot Lake will not forget. That’s a lie: yes, it will. Barbados did, Canada will too. Barbados forgot and nobody was held accountable for building on a known cave.

Justice Mottley and daughter Mia Mottley

Nobody was held responsible for removing the prohibition against building on the land. Mia Mottley and her family were involved. They owned the land at one time. Nothing more need be said.

sign me “Never Forget”

Further Reading

Please read the following article at the Toronto Sun: Warmington: Elliot Lake will not forget

Warmington: Elliot Lake will not forget

“It’s just not safe.” — HUSAR leader Bill Neadles.

Was Juno beach safe?

How about Vimy Ridge or Helmand Province?

When would such an emergency rescue mission, which would require bringing in the Heavy Urban Search And Rescue Team (HUSAR), ever have safe conditions?

Only in nanny-state Ontario could somebody decide the working conditions for rescue workers in a catastrophe were not safe enough to do what they are trained, and paid, to do. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Canada, Disaster

How Chinese activist artist Ai Weiwei exposed shoddy Chinese construction that killed thousands of students

File under ‘Give more Bajan construction jobs to Chinese companies’

Ai Weiwei

Named by ArtReview as the most powerful artist in the world, Ai Weiwei is China’s most celebrated contemporary artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. In April 2011, when Ai disappeared into police custody for three months, he quickly became China’s most famous missing person. First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to the charismatic artist, as well as his family and others close to him, while working as a journalist in Beijing. In the years she filmed, government authorities shut down Ai’s blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention–while Time magazine named him a runner-up for 2011’s Person of the Year. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Sundance 2012, her compelling documentary portrait is the inside story of a passionate dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics.

Thanks to an old friend for pointing us to this video

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Filed under Building Collapse, China, Consumer Issues, Human Rights

Revised Barbados Building Code leaves structural engineer “shocked, saddened”

In my opinion, the proposed ‘Revised’ code cannot be understood by most builders and homeowners – it appears to be designed to be understood only by designers.”

Revised Building Code likely to increase homeowner costs by 15%

by Grenville Phillips II
June 8, 2012

Yesterday, I attended a seminar hosted by the BNSI and BCSI titled “The Revised National Building Code”. I left the seminar feeling shocked and saddened. The current building code is designed to be understood by building contractors to allow them to build a fairly stable house. Many homeowners should also be able to understand it in order to check that their builder is following this national standard.

In my opinion, the proposed ‘Revised’ code cannot be understood by most builders and homeowners – it appears to be designed to be understood only by designers. Certainly, only structural engineers can understand the Structural section of the “Revised” code, while most builders should be able to understand the structural section in the current code.

In addition, the homeowner will have to provide detailed construction drawings for Government approval. This is likely to increase the cost to the homeowner by approximately 15%. This additional cost is not due to additional construction materials, but the cost of paying designers to prepare the detailed designs.

The current building code contains most of the technical information normally provided by designers (Engineers and Architects). What is so disheartening is that all of this useful information that can be understood by building contractors and many homeowners has been removed.

For the past 2 decades, designers have endured the entirely false charge that the enforcement of national building standards will financially benefit them. What is certain is that if the proposed ‘Revised’ building code is enforced, then the designers will be the principal financial beneficiaries. I am unaware of any designer who has lobbied for this ‘Revised’ code.

Grenville Phillips II is a son, brother, husband, father, friend, employer, teacher, musician, singer, composer, author, and publisher. He holds a diploma in Engineering, Bachelor of Science (Mathematics), Bachelor of Engineering (Structural), Master of Applied Science (Environmental Engineering), Master of Urban and Rural Planning. Chartered Structural Engineer (Fellow), Chartered Highway and Transportation Engineer (Fellow), Environmental Engineer, Project Manager, Planner, and President of Walbrent College.

In his spare time he writes the respected blog Weighed in the Balance

Further Reading

Meanwhile, Jonathan Platt of the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI), has issued a press release telling all how wonderful the new building code is – but lamenting that it is “voluntary” because the DLP and BLP governments haven’t bothered to pass legislation making adherence to the code mandatory. I think we’ve all heard that song before…

Barbados: Building Code on its Way to Being Published

Bridgetown – June 8, 2012 – Tragedies such as the collapse at Arch Cot in 2007 and the Campus Trendz fire in 2010, were offered as examples of calamities which need not recur, should the Revised National Building Code be put into practice. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse

One man takes on the cause: Most houses in Barbados unsafe construction

Government not looking after construction quality – so Grenville Phillips II will

For over a decade one man in Barbados has made it his life mission to cajole, lobby, educate and embarrass successive Bajan governments to pay attention to building standards. For all his efforts, in this mission our friend Grenville Phillips II has failed. Barbados governments simply don’t care about building standards. Lip service, making speeches: yes. Actually making the Building Code enforceable law and devoting the funds necessary to make building standards a reality in Barbados: no way.

So Grenville changed his plan: if the government won’t act, he will. Grenville intends to educate and certify building professionals and to educate the public to demand that their building professionals be qualified, certified and adhere to proper standards.

We need more folks like Grenville Phillips II running this place. People who actually get stuff done.

(Grenville… have you ever thought of running as an independent candidate for Parliament? Go ahead, put your name on the ballot. Don’t even bother with a traditional campaign. You might be very surprised by what happens.)

Here’s an article where Grenville lays out his excellent plan for Barbados…

A Building Solution for Homeowners

by Grenville Phillips II

The process of building a house for most people in Barbados follows these steps.

1.  The homeowner contacts a draughts-person or architect who prepares drawings and an application for Town Planning approval.

2.  The homeowner presents these drawings to a building contractor who provides them with a price, which if accepted, builds what is on the drawings.

3.  The homeowner occupies the house and is frustrated with the numerous and avoidable maintenance issues.

Most homeowners believe that the drawings approved by the Town Planning office contain sufficient information to allow their builder to build a safe and durable house.  This is not so. The drawings approved by Town Planning contain no guidance to the contractor to build safely.  Worse, most builders do not know how to build safely, and most if not all homeowners are oblivious to the fact that most of them occupy houses that will be unsafe during a major earthquake or hurricane.

I have often wondered what many of the 300,000 who died in Haiti thought as their houses, which they truly believed were well constructed, collapsed around them.  I have visited Haiti several times since the earthquake and have spoken with hundreds of survivors.  I understand that the dead have a different experience, but I can postulate that in addition to the fearful dread of impending harm, there was also a stunning shock and bewilderment about how their house, that cost them so much money to build, could be collapsing so dramatically.

Let me reiterate.  The drawings approved by Town Planning provide no guidance whatsoever to the contractor on how to build a safe house.  The homeowner is essentially placing hundreds of thousands of building materials into the hands of persons who generally do not know how to assemble them safely, despite their best efforts.  I have spent over a decade actively lobbying successive Governments to facilitate the safer building of houses, but there has been little change in the quality of residential construction practices.   So what is the homeowners’ solution when no-one is looking out for them?

… continue reading this excellent post at Grenville’s blog: A Building Solution for Homeowners

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Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Consumer Issues

Arch Cot Justice will be delayed another 20 years

Barbados Free Press has yet to write about the Coroner’s verdict in the Arch Cot cave-in deaths because we are waiting to read the entire verdict as is being published in installments in The Barbados Advocate.

In this day and age it is inexcusable that the Coroner herself hasn’t published her complete verdict online, but that’s Buhbadus and doan say it’s not so!

From the start BFP covered the deaths of the Codrington family extensively and it is probably not an exaggeration to say that Barbados would still be waiting for an inquest without BFP, the Codrington family and the other voices who steadily demanded an inquest until the government finally gave in.

Even after the inquest belatedly started, the coroner had to be dragged kicking and screaming into hearing evidence from Professor Hans Machel, a specialist in earth and atmospheric science at the University of Alberta in Canada, who conducted an independent study of the cave after the apartment collapsed.

Although BFP will wait to read the full verdict before commenting in detail, some of what we’ve read in the papers shows that the Barbados news media still has a great reluctance to name names. The Barbados elites are well-protected by the local press. Of course, we at BFP have no reluctance to name the names.

Justice in Barbados: A decades-long process that often never ends

The Codrington family lawyer, David Comissiong, made statements shortly after the verdict that the family would be pursuing legal action in the Barbados courts…

“Based on all of the evidence that was revealed over the past year of this inquest, we feel that we need to take this matter further. We think that these deaths could have been avoided. We think that there are four possible cases of negligence. So we would be exploring all four of those possible cases,”

David Comissiong to the Barbados Advocate

22 Years and counting down

We wonder if the remaining family members really know what they are in for. Barbados is a country where a simple condominium dispute or a pedestrian accident can remain before the courts for more than twenty years with no resolution. Ours is a country where court files and government records appear and reappear for the convenience of the elites and to deny evidence to ordinary folks.

Barbados has a system where there are no court reporters in the civil courts. How does anyone remember or know what really happened in the course of a few hours in court with no records being kept? You may well ask that question… not that you’ll receive a satisfactory answer.

Just last week our Barbados Court of Appeal issued a decision in the 1993 road accident case of Edward Roach. That’s almost 19 years after Mr. Roach was injured, and he still hasn’t been paid a dollar.

What happened at Arch Cot is far more complex than a road accident – by many orders of magnitude. Unfortunately the Barbados Courts will be unable to deliver justice to the Codringtons in under two decades.

Our guess of the time it will take the Barbados courts to reach a decision in the Arch Cot Disaster case: 22 years at minimum.

Here is a recent example of Bajan justice, courtesy of Barbados Today

Still liable despite different decision

Barbados’ Court of Appeal has re-allocated the liability of a substantial monetary award made to a pedestrian injured in a road accident more than 18 years ago. But in the historic decision, made late last month by the highest court in the land, those found responsible will still jointly have to pay the affected individual close to a quarter of a million dollars in damages.

The court, in reaching its judgment, was also forced to go the uncommon route of amending a decision of a trial judge in such matters.

On November 23, 1993 Edward Roach was struck in a collision involving vehicles driven by Nigel Ward, who was driving along Brighton Main Road in the direction of Black Rock Main Road, St. Michael, and Milton Lowe, operator of the other automobile, which was traveling along Farm Road leading onto Brighton Main Road. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Disaster

Where did the money go? Barbados Media Disaster Relief Fund

click photo for large

The above photo was sent anonymously to Barbados Free Press with the message “Remember 180 thousand”

As with everything you read here or at the New York Times – take it with some salt, but let’s hear what folks have to say about the subject of the Codrington family survivors and the Barbados Media Disaster Relief Fund.

 

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Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Disaster

Arch Cot Disaster: Links to Mia Mottley & family discovered

Updated May 14, 2011

Canadian geologist Professor Hans Machel testified the week of May 9, 2011 at the Coroner’s Inquest into the deaths of the Codrington family at Arch Cot. We’ll be putting up a new Arch Cot story, but for now have a read or re-read of our March 13, 2011 piece about the Mottley family connection and the unanswered questions about how a powerful Barbados family received land permissions when others were denied…

Powerful Mottley family obtained Arch Cot land use permissions denied to previous owner!

Will the Arch Cot Inquest follow up on our story?

“The Mottley family bought Arch Cot scrub land that couldn’t be built on and then got planning permission when the previous owner couldn’t. They made some quick and easy money.”

“Look at these documents I’ve attached. The people of Barbados deserve an explanation from the Mottley family and from the government officials who granted the land use permissions to the Mottleys that they refused to give the previous owner.”

The following was received via an anonymous emailer. Once again we remind all readers to keep an open mind and to keep asking the questions that need to be asked. Just because somebody says so, doesn’t make it true, but this story should be simple enough that the coroner could find the truth if she wants to. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Corruption, Disaster, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate

Reader reports from Arch Cot Inquest: Coroner lacked copy of government report!

“And why the france the Coroners Court don’t have they own copy of a government report? And why lawyers for the Codrington family had to give the Chief Town Planner the reference number for documents in his own office?”

BFP reader Gift of Justice on our article More Damning Evidence that Arch Cot Inquest is a last-minute sham

Many witnesses in court, but nothing happening. Lots of talk but no testimony.

Well January 14th (next Inquest date) is Donavere’s birthday. Can we expect a gift of justice on this day or will the inquest continue as usual with very little testimony and most of the time spent planning who to call to testify next? Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Disaster

Arch Cot Inquest: Where are the missing witnesses?

If your name is on the following list, please contact the Coroner’s office.

Two days ago Barbados Free Press received an email from a person who said they were witness to some of the events at Arch Cot. They provided us with a lengthy and detailed account of what they saw and their contact information so we could confirm that they sent the email to us.

Their name is on the list of missing witnesses below.

We will not be publishing their statement at this time. We forwarded their email to the Coroner along with their contact information.

Friends, it is important that what was seen is testified to at the Inquest. We urge witnesses to contact the Coroner’s office with their story. We at BFP promise you this: If the Coroner’s Inquest does not hear your testimony, we will print it here. That said, we urge witnesses to contact the Coroner’s office first.

If your name is on the following list, please contact the Coroner’s office at 429-4292 as soon as possible. Continue reading

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More Damning Evidence that Arch Cot Inquest is a last-minute sham

UPDATED: February 15, 2011

The Arch Cot Coroner’s Inquest into the deaths of the Codrington family is set to resume on Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 2pm. With a 2pm start it looks like it will be a short day with little accomplished.

The inquest needs to be important to Barbadians and not only because an entire family of five innocent people died. The inquest shows how things work ’bout hey and the elites don’t like that. The inquest could have been an important moment in history for all Barbadians – but so far it is turning out just the way we expected. Staged theatre with a bit of fireworks to make it look like something will be done.

And when it’s all over, no one will be held accountable. The report will be filed away and years from now someone will say, “Oh, Codringtons? Terrible tragedy and the inquest led to some important changes”. But that statement will be a lie.

Original article first published December 5, 2010…

Coroner slaps Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins for submitting incomplete report.

“The most damning piece of information appearing in the regular news media is that as of today – almost three and a half years after the deaths of five sleeping Bajans – Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins has neither secured the entire records associated with the history of the disaster site, nor searched for any records prior to his arbitrarily-chosen date of 1979.”

… BFP’s Robert comments on new revelations at the Arch Cot Inquest

In August 2007, five of Codrington family were killed when their home fell into a huge collapsing cave at Arch Cot, Barbados. Inquest or not, everybody on this island knew at least two years ago that Donavere and Cassandra Codrington and the children, Yashiro, Shaquanda and Shaquille, died because other persons made a series of decisions that ended up killing them. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Corruption, Crime & Law, Disaster, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press

Exclusive: Barbados Coroner shuns Canadian expert. Hans Machel not called to Arch Cot Inquest

Updated: November 16, 8:45pm Bridgetown

Coroner Faith Marshall-Harris says she will now “explore the possibility” of summonsing Professor Machel to the inquest. Hopefully he will be available. (Isn’t that exam time at a University?) He could have been given many months notice but the Coroner is laying this on at the last moment due to pressure from the Codrington family.

Attorney David Comissiong, who is representing the interest of Donavere Codrington, asked the court to also summon Professor Hans Machel, a specialist in earth and atmospheric science at the University of Alberta in Canada, who conducted an independent study of the cave after the apartment collapsed.

The coroner pointed out that she would explore the possibility of getting the professor here.

… from The Nation article Arch Cot Visit

Original BFP article…

BFP Exclusive: New interview with Professor Machel

BFP Exclusive: Codrington Family wants Professor Hans Machel to testify

Coroner Faith Marshall-Harris summonsed over 70 witnesses to the ongoing Inquest into the deaths of five members of the Codrington family, who died in 2007 when their home fell into a collapsing cave.

Barbados Free Press has learned that the Coroner did not summons University of Alberta Earth Sciences Professor Hans Machel (photo above) – nor has he ever been contacted by the Coroner’s staff or investigators despite Machel’s offers to provide the evidence and information he and his team collected about the Arch Cot cave-in and deaths.

Sources close to the Codrington family inform Barbados Free Press that the family is most interested in having Professor Machel attend the next inquest date on Friday, December 3, 2010, and the site visit to Arch Cot Terrace scheduled for that same day.

There is despair among some family members that “This inquest is being stage-managed like a play with only certain actors allowed to take part.”

It is obvious that the people who run Barbados do not want to see the evidence that Professor Machel and his team gathered during his publicly reported investigations into the Codrington deaths. Continue reading

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