Tag Archives: Building Collapse

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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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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Nicole Codrington: Family never received any monies collected after Arch Cot disaster

Calls for Investigation into Arch Cot Charity Funds

“I would also encourage all persons who sent in monies to these respective funds to report the matter to the police so that a full fledged investigation by the appropriate authorities can be made.”

Dear Readers at Barbados Free Press,

Please be advised that neither I Nicole Alicia Codrington nor any of the immediate surviving relatives of Donavere Codrington, namely his mother Patricia Codrington, grandmother Sheila Codrington and eldest son Doniko Codrington have ever received or in anyway benefitted from any monies collected following the Arch Cot disaster which killed my brother Donavere, his wife, my niece and nephew.

To reinterate none of the above named persons have received any monies from the Barbados Media Relief Fund, Government Trust fund or any other fund which collected money regarding the disaster.

In December 2010 I requested an attorney acting collectively on the behalf of Donavere’s estate to investigate the disbursement of monies under these funds since it is widely held that the above named persons have been receiving and accessing monies from these funds. This is incorrect and written responses from the Attorney General of Barbados, the Barbados Media Relief Fund, the Barbados National Bank, Mr. Hilford Murrell, Mr. Leroy Inniss and several others substantiates this.

Further please note that all legal fees regarding the Codrington Estate and Coroner’s Inquest have been paid by me solely.

As recently as last Sundays Sunday Sun it has been implied in an update regarding assistance to these families in which my name was mentioned that in excess of $180 000 have been paid out. I hope no further errors of this sort is made.

I would also encourage all persons who sent in monies to these respective funds to report the matter to the police so that a full fledged investigation by the appropriate authorities can be made.

On a separate note I wish to extend sincere thanks to all those, particularly Chefette Restaurants Ltd who have offered genuine assistance to my niece and nephews who are thriving in their own little ways.

without wax,
Nicole A Codrington

(BFP editor’s note: We believe this letter is from Nicole Codrington, but we have not contacted her to confirm this.)

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Disaster, Ethics

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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Arch Cot Inquest witness intimidation: Professor Hans G. Machel reports intimidation, fears of arson, bodily harm, job loss against potential witnesses.

UPDATED: February 16, 2011

The Arch Cot Inquest is set to resume on Thursday, February 17, 2011.

Will the Coroner respond to Professor Machel’s reports of intimidation of witnesses?

Are Richard Goddard and Professor Hans G. Machel summonsed to the Arch Cot Inquest to “name names”?

Investigation team of former Canadian Mounted Police Officer and University Professor called building home on cave “an act of moral depravity.”

“I found out many more things that the public has a right to know but that have been hidden so far. I encountered an atmosphere of frustration and intimidation, nourished especially under the previous BLP government. I met several individuals who were afraid to speak out for fear of loosing their jobs, bodily harm, or having their houses burnt down, if they ever went public with what they know. I will speak for them. And should the day come, I am prepared to testify in any court of law under oath.”

… University of Alberta, Canada Professor Hans G. Machel exclusive to Barbados Free Press Continue reading

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Surprise Inquest called into Barbados Arch Cot cave deaths

UPDATED: October 10, 2010

Also see BREAKING STORY: Intimidation of witnesses to keep silent! Witnesses fear arson, violence & job loss if they testify.

Original story published October 9, 2010…

Barbados government yields to citizen pressure, but…

Will we see a proper inquest, or a carefully choreographed event?

An inquest has been called into the August 2007 deaths of five members of the Codrington family – killed when their home was swallowed into a collapsing cave at Arch Cot, Brittons Hill.

The short notice of only 10 days between the public announcement of the inquest and the October 18, 2010 start date is raising some concerns.

Relatives and friends of the Codringtons, aided by other citizens, foreign experts and the blogs, have been calling for an inquest for three years. With one rare exception, and then only after much shaming, the Barbados news media largely ignored the issue. Many people on and off this island believe the lack of media interest is directly related to important people being involved in various ways with the land, home, collapse and rescue efforts.

Issues raised at Barbados Free Press and other venues include:

– Sale and ownership history of the land.

– The mysterious removal of a “no building” clause on the land title.

– The building of the home on a known cave.

– Ownership history after the home was built.

– Construction work nearby that may have led to the collapse.

– A stop work order at the nearby construction site when cracks started to appear near the home, an engineering survey and the subsequent decision to lift the stop work order.

– 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!

– Decisions made at the scene by emergency responders that may or may not have caused the deaths of some members of the Codrington family who may have still been alive after the initial collapse.

– The lack of equipment and training for emergency workers.

– The lack of proper laws, building codes, inspections and site assessment requirements in Barbados and how this lawlessness contributed to the deaths.

BREAKING STORY: Intimidation of witnesses to keep silent! Witnesses fear arson, violence & job loss if they testify.

Barbados Attorney General announced Inquest results 3 years ago on August 31, 2007 Continue reading

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Preparing for the worst – Some implications of a major earthquake on Trinidad & Tobago

Afra Raymond looks Lessons from Haiti

We have all looked on in horror at the scenes of destruction and human suffering, experienced by our Caribbean neighbours in Haiti as a result of the strong earthquake on 12th January.  Coming after the horror and attempts to assist, my mind shifted to the possibility of such a disaster in our country.  That prompted me to attend the seminar organized by the Association of Professional Engineers of T&T (APETT) and the T&T Contractors’ Association (TTCA) at Crowne Plaza on Wednesday 3rd February.  The seminar was excellent and such was the content that this week I am setting aside the other important matters with which I have been dealing.

The Structural situation

We heard several presentations from engineers and the President of the TTCA which set out the structural situation.  Some of the main points emerging there were that we are at significant risk because –

“An approved national building code does not exist at this time, designers use building codes with which they are familiar,” Darryl Thomson, a standards officer at the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS), said during his presentation.

“I would think generally we are not (prepared) and we need to seriously look at what we are doing and change the way we do business where the built environment is concerned,” President of TTCA, Mikey Joseph said.

Past-President of APETT, Mark Francois, told us of estimated multi-billion dollar damage to buildings if a natural disaster were to hit our main cities. “Potential building economic loss … in Port of Spain was of the order of US$5 billion and in San Fernando US$6 billion” Francois said.

Francois went on to make 3 other important points – firstly, as a former British colony, our professionals had used British Standards up until the late 1960s, with the risk to us being that, since the British Isles are not prone, those standards did not take account of earthquakes.  As a result, he stated that major parts of our civil infrastructure, upon which we would rely in a disaster, were not designed or built to withstand earthquakes.  His example of the POS General Hospital being one such structure was sobering.  Secondly, he stated that building plans are being certified by engineers who do not posses the necessary qualifications in structural work and that he had done assignments to re-design some of those ‘certified’ plans.  Thirdly, he dealt with the well-known practice of engaging personnel employed with the regulatory authorities to draw plans for buildings and obtain permission.  This begs the question as to how could a public employee on such a ‘PJ’ fail to pass their own plans.

These quotes were drawn from the Trinidad Express story on Friday 5th February.

The Seismic situation

The speaker on this aspect was Dr. Walter Salazar, Senior Research Fellow at the Seismic Research unit at UWI.  The three main points from his presentation were firstly, that our country is indeed at similar risk as Haiti in terms of a strong earthquake.  Secondly, the most likely areas for the strongest earthquakes are Tobago and the north-west peninsula of Trinidad, particularly Chaguaramus.  Thirdly, we are now overdue for that strong earthquake.

The disaster-preparedness situation

The head of our Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), Col. George Robinson has confirmed, in light of natural public concerns, that our systems are in place to deal with such an earthquake.  Knowing the individual, there is little doubt in my mind that the necessary diligence has been applied to developing solid systems.

What is the likely financial impact?

My concerns as to our level of earthquake-preparedness are rooted elsewhere and that is at the level of the ‘financial safety-net’ upon which we would rely in the event of such a disaster.  Our low national savings rates have long been a concern of economists/financial experts.  We do not save enough money, in the view of these experts, to propel our country’s journey to the next level of national development.  My concern is the implied question of how we would cope with a destructive earthquake.

Add to that the fact that only a small fraction of our buildings are properly insured and a worrying element to the disaster-preparedness picture starts to emerge.

Aside from the structural concerns and seismic risks as outlined above, there is a question as to the nature and extent of our financial safety-net.  Where will we find the money to rebuild?  Our lending institutions need effective systems to ensure that the properties they hold as security are properly insured.

Such an earthquake would also damage our infrastructure – roads, water and electrical distribution systems, drains and so on.

As a consequence, even if your own property is undamaged or properly-insured, you could also suffer from the wider damage.  If your entire neighbourhood is severely-damaged, apart from the issue of loss of life and physical injury, there would be a negative effect on the value of your property.

This issue affects everyone.

Some suggestions

I am suggesting that this is an issue which needs our urgent attention and that the private sector can take the lead.  The Association of Trinidad & Tobago Insurance Companies (ATTIC) and the Bankers’ Association of Trinidad & Tobago (BATT) can take a leadership position here.  One way forward could be for the insurance and banking sectors to agree, in their self-interest, a minimum code for design and construction with APETT and the TTCA.  That would be one way to set a benchmark in terms of proper standards for all financed or insured construction going forward.

In terms of existing privately-owned building owners, the Central Bank should consider adding a component on the importance of proper insurance to their National Financial Literacy Programme.

The other urgent requirement is the retro-fitting of our major public buildings to meet the challenge of these overdue earthquakes.

Thank you to APETT and the TTCA for organising this important intervention.

Afra Raymond is a Chartered Surveyor, Managing Director of Raymond & Pierre Limited and President of the Institute of Surveyors of Trinidad & Tobago.  Feedback can be sent to afra@raymondandpierre.com.

Afra Raymond also writes a blog: Afra Raymond’s blog

Photo courtesy of the Real Hope for Haiti Rescue Center blog

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Barbados Cave-In Deaths: Codrington Family Cries Out – Wants Justice, Not Cover-Up

No Inquest Called: Family Died When Home Collapsed Into Known Cave

donavere-codrington-barbadosThere 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…

… from the Barbados Free Press article Expert: Arch Cot Cave-In Victims May Have Been Killed By Wrong Decisions, Actions and Inaction By Barbados Emergency Officials

Family Member Comments On Barbados Free Press…

BFP harps and will keep harping because everybody waited till Monday morning before they did anything.

They will keep harping because Donavere died August 28th not 26th.

They will keep harping because they could not even determine who was who when they finally started pulling bodies out.

They will keep harping because we still have clothing that stink with the smell of death.

And they will keep going because even if you had wanted to accept that it was just a tragedy… the actions of the BLP and now DLP government prove that someone is responsible.

Those Ministers sat at Arch Cot everyday, drinking alcohol and eating up feasts donated by hotels and restaurants across Barbados. Then the BLP proceeded to use Arch Cot pictures and pictures of us grieving all over their stinking manifesto and that’s why they lost, because God don’t like ugly.

Everyone one of them will suffer until they step up and do what is right.

GO BFP, THE CODRINGTON FAMILY THANK YOU. WE WANT TO SEE THE GOVERNMENT REPORTS, WE WANT AN INQUEST AND WE WANT A LAWYER THAT GOT THE FRIGGIN BALLS, CAUSE THE LAST SET DON’T SEEM TO HAVE ANY. THEY DROPPED THE CODRINGTONS FOR A BETTER DEAL AND THAT IS HOW WE KNOW THAT SOMEONE RESPONSIBLE.

BFP Editor’s Note: The above comment was left today on our article Expert: Arch Cot Cave-In Victims May Have Been Killed By Wrong Decisions, Actions and Inaction By Barbados Emergency Officials

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Expert: Arch Cot Cave-In Victims May Have Been Killed By Wrong Decisions, Actions and Inaction By Barbados Emergency Officials

“… 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’.”

barbados-cave-deaths“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.

barbados-cave-children

Yes, Murdered.

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.

Started Cover-Up

Started Cover-Up

“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.

Cricket Parties, but no money for Rescue Team

Cricket Parties, but no money for Rescue Team

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.

Continues Cover-Up & No Public Inquest

Continues Cover-Up & No Public Inquest

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.

Further Reading

March 15, 2009 Barbados Advocate article Responsibility and Culpability in the Brittons Hill – Arch Cot Cave Collapse

JPGs 300k each: page 1 20090315_p32 page 2 Barbados Collapse Deaths

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Barbados Government Cover-Up – No Inquest Into Codrington Family Deaths – Home Collapsed Into Known Cave

arch-cot-deaths-barbados

(click on photo to download 500k pdf article)

Another Major Article Appears In Barbados Advocate Newspaper

The Barbados Advocate newspaper has published another major article on the August, 2007 deaths of five members of the Codrington family. The couple and three of their children died when their home collapsed into a known cave as they slept.

The majority of the Barbados media outlets have been silent on any substantive issues surrounding the deaths because the people involved (and perhaps guilty of the deaths) are major figures in business, government civil service and politics.

The Barbados Advocate initially refused to publish detailed articles about the deaths but has been forced to because Barbados Free Press publishes articles that the Advocate and the Nation News refuse to publish. (See list of BFP articles at the bottom of this page.)

Last Sunday’s Barbados Advocate article was written by Barbados native Richard Goddard and has since been removed from the internet by the Barbados Advocate. Therefore, we will publish the full article here at Barbados Free Press.

Richard Goddard names some names, reveals much new information and ends by asking the following questions…

1/ Who in Town & Country Planning granted change of use permission from residential to commercial, after Brooks (previous land owner) was denied a change of use, and on what grounds?

2/ Was the Covenant restricting building on the Arch Cot lands removed, or just brushed aside?

3/ What was the role of the M in MRD which obtained the change of use permission from residential to commercial, to permit the construction of the medical facility?

4/ Was there a conflict of interest in obtaining a permit that was to their own advantage?

5/ When permission is sought for change from residential to commercial, does a representative from the Town Planning department visit the site in question and eyeball the land and make enquiries from persons in the area whether there would be any objections, and if so, on what grounds?

Mr. Goddard’s article ends with the following statement that all honest Bajans agree with…

“There must be a judicial enquiry into this matter presided over by a judge from outside the jurisdiction, and a coroner’s enquiry without delay.”

Our Warning To The Barbados News Media

Your silence and your failure to demand a public inquest into the deaths of five family members has destroyed what little credibility you had. The Barbados news media can start to redeem itself by joining the outrage being felt in the community.

Show you have some courage. Publish the full names of everyone who is or was involved. Do it or lose all hope of redemption and forever be spat upon by the good people of Barbados.

Further Reading

Richard Goddard’s article Barbados Advocate, Sunday March 8, 2009 – (Arch Cot – Without Prejudice – 592k pdf)

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

BFP – Former Barbados Government Minister Liz Thompson Writes BFP – “I deny that I was involved in any way” with Arch Cot Collapse

BFP – Expert: Barbados Apartment Collapse Deaths Were Caused By Gross Negligence. Why No Coroner’s Inquest?

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

BFP August 31, 2007 – Barbados Apartment Collapse – Day 6 – All Five Bodies Now Recovered – Attorney General Announces Results Of Not-Yet-Held Inquest… Really

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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.

barbados-cave-deaths

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…

CLICK HERE (2.5 mb PDF)


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Former Barbados Government Minister Liz Thompson Writes BFP – “I deny that I was involved in any way” with Arch Cot Collapse

The following comment which purports to be from former BLP Government Minister Liz Thompson was posted today on our previously published story Readers Say Barbados Arch Cot Cave-In Construction Was A C.O. Williams – Gregory Hazzard Project For Liz Thompson. We at BFP will save our comments until after the submission by (apparently) Liz Thompson – except to say that we had not received any submission before this one or we surely would have published it for fairness AND because its a great news story.

As Ms. Thompson requested, we will leave this post up as prominently and even more prominently than the original so everyone can read her response. We have also created an introduction and a link on the previous post to further prominently display the message from the former Government Minister.

One caution, we have not confirmed that this is Liz Thompson as it wasn’t sent from her email, it was posted as a comment. Take it away (apparently) Liz Thompson… Continue reading

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Readers Say Barbados Arch Cot Cave-In Construction Was A C.O. Williams – Gregory Hazzard Project For Liz Thompson

FEBRUARY 28, 2009 UPDATED: Former Barbados Government Minister Liz Thompson Writes BFP – “I deny that I was involved in any way” with Arch Cot Collapse

“Barbados Free Press, this is the second time I am asking you to publish my comments. You very quickly published lies about my association with Arch Cot but I cannot get you to publish my response to your garbage. Is it because the BFP has no real commitment to the truth and knows that it can damage people’s personal and professional reputations and then hide behind the anonymity of the internet to escape being sued?

I am asking you to give my response the same kind of prominence that you gave to the libellous story. I am making this second attempt because people are asking me if I have seen the BFP story. In the past I have ignored the many untruths which the BFP has published about me but these most recent allegations are extremely serious…”

… continue reading former Government Minister Liz Thompson’s letter and BFP’s response in our article Former Barbados Government Minister Liz Thompson Writes BFP – “I deny that I was involved in any way” with Arch Cot Collapse

Original story…

Rumours Swirling About Daycare Center Construction

My friends, two newspaper articles about the Arch Cot cave-in deaths recently appeared in the local rags known as the Nation and the Barbados Advocate. The Nation article by Phillippe Aimey lamented the government’s inaction in assisting the displaced residents, while the Barbados Advocate published a comprehensive letter from Charles Whittaker asking many of the questions that have been on the front burner for everyone it seems – except the governments of Owen Arthur and David Thompson.

Mr. Whittaker asked most pointedly…

“Will there ever be a coroner’s enquiry or any public enquiry into the tragedy? The more we discuss the events leading up to the fateful cave-in, the more we are convinced that the final tragedy could have been prevented.”

We have all heard the rumours, but have never read any involved names in the news media in the nineteen months since the Codrington family died. It is disgusting that two successive Barbados governments and the island media are apparently more concerned with protecting big names and political elites than in allowing the citizens to know the truth. It is disgusting that two successive Barbados governments have failed to take the steps necessary to prevent a recurrence.

liz-thompson-blp.jpgAs citizens we have a right to the truth. We DEMAND that the David Thompson government call a PUBLIC inquest – a full and truthful inquest – into the deaths of an entire family.

No Inquest Means Citizens Must Find Other Sources

The rumours have been going on almost since the day of the tragedy and we have no way of knowing if they are true or not. We had hoped that the government would call a public inquest but that is apparently not to be – at least not in any timely fashion. As we’ve pointed out repeatedly in the last three years, Barbados doesn’t do inquests or assign blame, especially if big names are involved.

So we’re going to print the rumours here. They are the same rumours that we’ve all heard and it is time that someone printed them in public – if for no other reason than to force the truth to the surface.

Notice To Anyone Mentioned In This Article

If your name is mentioned in this article as possibly involved in the Arch Cot tragedy and you would like to dispute anything that is said, we would be willing to print your unedited response prominently so it can be read by the same audience that reads this article.

Names We’ve Heard Associated With The Arch Cot Cave-In Deaths

C.O. Williams Construction Ltd.

Elizabeth Thompson

Gregory Hazzard

Mahy, Ridley, Hazzard Engineers Limited

It is rumoured that C.O. Williams Construction Ltd. was doing the digging for a daycare center project for BLP Government Minister Liz Thompson. Gregory Hazzard is rumoured to be the engineer who attended at the construction site and gave the go ahead to resume construction four days before the cave-in. The construction had been halted for a week due to the appearance of large cracks and the loss of a drill bit down a “bottomless hole” that appeared near the Codrington family’s apartment. Mahy, Ridley, Hazzard Engineers Limited are rumoured to be the project’s engineering firm.

Now folks – we are just repeating the rumours we’ve all heard, and once again if these rumours are false or there is more known we want to hear about it like everyone else. If any of the people mentioned want to dispute that they were not involved at all, please write us and we’ll post your comments right here where everyone can read them. You can write to Barbados Free Press at our email address of…  barbadosfreepress@yahoo.com

Here is the letter from Charles Whittaker as published in the Barbados Advocate. We print the complete version because the Barbados Advocate often destroys their archives, presumably so the truth can be changed whenever convenient. Continue reading

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Barbados Newspapers Refuse To Print Letter Revealing Secret Government Report Into Cave-In Deaths. Professor Machel Will Name Names

“I found out many more things that the public has a right to know but that have been hidden so far. I encountered an atmosphere of frustration and intimidation, nourished especially under the previous BLP government. I met several individuals who were afraid to speak out for fear of loosing their jobs, bodily harm, or having their houses burnt down, if they ever went public with what they know. I will speak for them. And should the day come, I am prepared to testify in any court of law under oath.”

Prof. Hans G. Machel Will Name Names: Codrington Family Deaths Caused By Gross Negligence

FOREWORD TO OPEN LETTER

I wrote the appended ‘OPEN LETTER TO PM THOMPSON’ on the evening of January 26, the same day Barbados’ Prime Minister, the Hon. David Thompson, was prominently featured in THE BARBADOS ADVOCATE, denouncing a “conspiracy of silence and indifference” as well as “corruption, nepotism, and malfeasance” by the previous BLP administration. 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.

But I refuse to be silenced. Five innocent people, the Codrington family, got buried alive when their house collapsed into a cave at Brittons Hill on August 26 2007 though a combination of gross ignorance and gross negligence. I am speaking out for them, for their relatives, as well as for all the good people of Barbados. I consider myself their servant. I have a moral obligation to speak out, not only to get to the truth, but also to warn and protect others from meeting the same fate.

I have not edited my open letter since January 26. Our small group of investigators has since learnt some additional explosive facts. Most importantly, construction near the ill-fated house had actually opened up a second hole in the cave system, in addition to the large hole that had opened up right at the house’s foundation (which was already reason enough to evacuate). Also, we now know the names of those who worked to remove the legal obstacles to built on the land that this house stood on, land that was not to be built on. We shall disclose this information in due time. For now, I am posting my OPEN LETTER in its original form, so that all readers can see what was deemed ‘too hot to handle’ by those who control Barbados’ two national newspapers.

Hans G. Machel

Slanted cave in the Brittons Hill area, about 60 m long and up to about 8 m in height. The roof is supported by pillars that narrow to less than 50 cm near the middle in some places. Person for scale.

Slanted cave in the Brittons Hill area, about 60 m long and up to about 8 m in height. The roof is supported by pillars that narrow to less than 50 cm near the middle in some places. Person for scale.

Open Letter To Prime Minister David Thompson

In his recent address at the DLP Report to the Nation Rally, Barbados’ Prime Minister, the Hon. David Thompson, spoke some brave and encouraging words. He denounced a “conspiracy of silence and indifference” as well as “corruption, nepotism, and malfeasance” by the previous BLP administration. Since about 2002, I had encountered all of these in my dealings with the BLP Government and civil servants regarding the Greenland garbage dump fiasco, and I have seen some of this in the context of the cave collapse at Brittons Hill in August 2007. To date, nobody has been held accountable for this tragedy, which claimed the lives of five members of the Codrington family. I am herewith appealing to the Hon. David Thompson to stand by his words to “Hold all accountable” (The Barbados Advocate from January 26 2009). Furthermore, I appeal to his government to enact legislation that places stringent conditions on construction.

As a geologist with nearly 30 years of experience and whose active research includes caves, I had been approached by concerned Barbadians to provide an expert opinion on the Brittons Hill cave collapse. During the past 4 weeks alone, I visited 15 caves in Barbados and also conducted numerous interviews with people directly or indirectly involved with the Brittons Hill tragedy. I also went into “Ground Zero”, where I took photos, measurements, and rock samples. I found out very quickly that 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 recognized or ignored.

I found out many more things that the public has a right to know but that have been hidden so far. I encountered an atmosphere of frustration and intimidation, nourished especially under the previous BLP government. I met several individuals who were afraid to speak out for fear of loosing their jobs, bodily harm, or having their houses burnt down, if they ever went public with what they know. I will speak for them. And should the day come, I am prepared to testify in any court of law under oath. I presented a part of my findings at a public lecture in Solidarity House on January 14 2009 entitled “Caves of Barbados – Wonders and Danger Underground”, which was widely reported in the local media. In this lecture I called the tragedy a case of “gross negligence”. I stand by these words, and shall elaborate.

The first reason for this assertion is that the cave under the ill-fated house reached a height of about 20 m and came within about 1 – 1.5 m of the surface at its shallowest. The cave had been known for decades, as many children and adults had played in it or visited the cave over the years, well before the time any house was built in this area. Most people did not notice, however, that the coral rock that makes up the cliff in this area is jointed, that is, it is separated into large blocks by deep-reaching cracks that provided access to copious amounts of rain water that had weakened the rock over time. Also largely unnoticed or ignored was the fact that rock matrix itself is brittle like crumble cake: I can break and disintegrate it with my bare hands.These facts alone render building a house on that particular site prohibitive.

Builder Of The Deadly House Is A Well-Known Public Figure

The second reason for my assertion is that the land on which the ill-fated house was built had a covenant or deed restriction attached to it for several decades, which limits 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. I know of one person by name who had wanted to buy this land back in 1961 and was told at the time that he could not build on it. If this was a legally binding covenant, one has to ask whether it was legally removed before the ill-fated house was built, when, why, and by whom. Permit to build the Codrington’s house was issued in 1982. Alternately, did the builder of the house (who is a well-known public figure in the island) know about the covenant, or was he left in the dark by the previous owner who sold the land to him without full disclosure? If the builder of the house knew about the covenant, did not have it legally removed when it was legally binding, and yet he built the house anyway, this person has blood on his hands.

Who Decided To Continue Construction In The Few Days Before The Cave Collapse?

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. There was an active construction site nearby that caused serious vibrations in the ill-fated house and those around it, which was felt by numerous inhabitants as far as several houses in each direction. Furthermore, about 3 weeks prior to the cave collapse one neighbor spotted a hole in the ground that had opened up right next to one corner of the ill-fated house, about 2 1/2 feet in diameter with no bottom in sight: a gaping black abyss. Unbeknownst to him, this was the large cave that would swallow the Codringtons later on. He reported this hole to the workers at the construction site nearby. Construction was halted about one week later, yet resumed about 4 days before the cave collapsed entirely, killing the Codrington family. How could this happen? There were serious vibrations all over the neighborhood, and the top of the cave had already started to open up. What more was needed to stop construction and evacuate the people in the house over the cave? Whoever ordered construction to resume after it was halted temporarily, despite these glaring indications of impending doom, is either grossly incompetent or grossly negligent.

I have also learnt that a fairly thorough investigation was undertaken by technical experts, that is, by geologists, hydrogeologists and engineers, in the months following the cave collapse. Apparently a preliminary report was finished in December 2007 under the previous BLP administration, a final report was finished about July 2008 under the current DLP administration. Yet this report is hidden from the public. Just why? The public has a right to know. On behalf of all Barbadians, I request that the findings of this report be made public immediately, and that they be part of a proper, impartial and open Coroner’s Inquest, which the public has demanded for a long time. Prime Minister Thompson, stand by your words: hold all accountable !

Looking into the future, I feel compelled to point out that many more houses were built on precarious ground in Barbados, especially in the Brittons Hill area. I have visited one particular cave just last week that is in relatively close proximity to the one that swallowed the Codringtons. This cave is about 60 m long, with variable heights of up to about 8 m, large enough to lead to another fatal collapse. This cave is slanted and comes to within 1 to 2 feet of the surface. Luckily, no house is built on the shallowest parts of the cave, which could collapse under a load as small as a heavy truck. Parts of the cave are supported only by narrow pillars of rock (see photos) that can topple under minor earthquakes or vibrations from construction, and sooner or later they will give way from continued erosion by groundwater. The rock here is the same crumbly stick-coral rock that forms much of Brittons Hill, especially along the cliff face. And yet, this cave underlies a densely developed part of the area with residential houses and schools nearby. Obviously, nobody cared or cared to check for caves and brittleness of the rock when this area was developed. This may have been understandable 20 or 30 years ago, but it is inexcusable now. Legislation should be enacted as soon as possible that puts stringent conditions of ground testing on any developer.

Furthermore, owners of the houses already in place in this area, especially along the cliff face that the Codrington’s house was located on, are well advised to have their properties scanned for caves, which can be done at relatively little expense with tools such as ground-penetrating radar. I would go as far as to recommend ground scanning for caves elsewhere in the island, wherever the rock is relatively brittle. On the other hand, there is no reason for panic. The coral rock is well cemented and hard as concrete in many locations. Where this is the case, the rock can carry very heavy, multi-story structures even with caves underneath.

Hans G. Machel
Professor of Geology
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta

This cave underlies a densely developed part of the area with residential houses and schools nearby

This cave underlies a densely developed part of the area with residential houses and schools nearby

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Expert: Barbados Apartment Collapse Deaths Were Caused By Gross Negligence. Why No Coroner’s Inquest?

Family Of Five Died - But No Inquest!

Prof. Hans Machel: Family Of Five Died - Nearby Construction Could Have Triggered The Collapse

UPDATED: August 13, 2010 – Approaching the Third Anniversary of the Arch Cott cave-in deaths

Cover-up by Government, Police & Coroner continues

“There is nothing that better illustrates the rot of corruption that infests our country than the fact that a young family of five died due to criminal neglect – and there will be no inquest.”

Now that former Attorney General Dale Marshall is in opposition, he’s incredibly vocal about the need for Government transparency and accountability. When in power though, he and his Barbados Labour Party used every trick in the book and then some to keep Bajans in the dark.

Today as we approach the third anniversary of the Arch Cot building collapse that killed a sleeping family of five, we remember that before the bodies were cold, Dale Marshall held a press conference and announced that the deaths were nobody’s fault, that it could have happened to anyone.

And that, my friends, was as close to an inquest as the political and business elites would allow. The people who died were nobodies, ordinary folks of no means or connections.

The people associated with their deaths are members of the business and political elites. Therefore, no inquest. It’s that simple.

Do you remember the dead? Their faces? Their names?

For the next two weeks let’s remember the victims and consider how they died as best as we can. Let’s remember the ongoing cover-up and the determination by Dale Marshall, Mia Mottley, Owen Arthur, David Thompson and Freundel Stuart that the mass death of five ordinary Bajans was nothing more than a regrettable inconvenience to be forgotten as soon as possible.

Five dead in one preventable happening. Lots of evidence of negligence, incompetence and deliberate criminal acts – but no inquest called by the BLP or the DLP in three years because they chose to protect their fellow elites instead of doing their duty for Barbados.

Our leaders are corrupt, uncaring bastards who NEVER hold fellow elites accountable for anything. Barbados deserves better… Continue reading

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Caves Of Barbados: Wonders and Dangers Underground – Expert To Talk About Apartment Collapse Into Cave

barbados-cave-death

Professor Hans G. Machel Featured At Barbados Museum & Historical Society Evening

“Straight-talking, outspoken and entertaining” would be an accurate description of Professor Hans G. Machel, so his presentation next Wednesday, January 14, 2009 should be a smasher – especially since his talk will include information about the Codrington family who died when their home fell into a collapsed cave on Sunday, August 26, 2007.

And seeing as how there has never been an inquest into the deaths of a whole family, and there probably never will be an inquest held, Professor Machel’s talk will be the only discussion and presentation to date where the public can hear what an expert has to say about what happened to the Codringtons and whether it could happen again.

CAVES OF BARBADOS AND ELSEWHERE – WONDERS AND DANGERS UNDERGROUND

Wednesday, 14th January 2009
Solidarity House
7:00 p.m.

Sponsored by The Barbados Museum & Historical Society

PRESENTATION

Caves have given shelter to animals and humans since the earliest times. To this day caves are glorified and mystified, used as homes and temples, burial places and spas, universally popular for exploration, recreation, and movies.

This presentation will explain the origin of caves and related features, such as gullies and sink holes, including the perils of the earth swallowing up people,  cars and houses, such as happened at Brittons Hill in August 2007. This talk will also show various cave formations, including spectacular crystals that are several meters long, and yellow or blue minerals containing sulphur or copper.

SPEAKER

HANS G. MACHEL, born and raised in Germany, has been a professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta in Canada since 1987. His research involves carbonate and evaporite rocks, petroleum geology, and low-temperature geochemistry. A part of his work is on cave systems. He has published more than 100 technical papers on various subjects and received several awards for his scientific work.

Prof. Machel first came to Barbados in 1989 and has visited the island about 25 times since. He has published a book on the geology of Barbados, and has run several field trips for university students and the general public. He is an avid opponent of the Greenland garbage dump site, and has explained its many perils on Barbadian television and radio, in the newspapers and on the Internet.

PROGRAMME

– National Anthem
– Welcome and Introduction of the Speaker    Humphrey Metzgen
– Lecture          Prof. Hans Machel
– Question and Answer
–  Closing Remarks    Humphrey Metzgen

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Was Corrupt Barbados Police Sargeant Paul Vaughan Extorting Bribes From Codrington Family’s DVD Store?

Sergeant Paul Vaughan (left) & Charles Leacock - Barbados Director Of Public Prosecutions

Unholy Alliance: Sergeant Paul Vaughan (left) & Charles Leacock - Barbados Director Of Public Prosecutions

Way back in August of 2007, Barbados lost an entire family as their apartment collapsed into a giant cave. Once a response got moving (which took some five hours) rescuers tried their best, but five bodies were eventually pulled from the hole. Dead were Cassandra Codrington 27 years old, Donavera 30 years old (husband), Shaquonda 7 years old, Shaquila 3 years old and Yashero 1 years old. One family member survived: Donica 3 months old was staying with relatives at the time of the collapse.

There was much discussion on the blogs about issues that the lapdog Barbados news media would never address. For instance, one of our articles revealed that months after the deaths, the government was not investigating the extent of the caves at Arch Cot where the Codrington family died! (See BFP’s Retired Barbados Chief Geologist Accidentally Reveals: No Cave Studies Being Done At Arch Cot Collapse!)

After reading that article, a reader called OMG commented and asked some very pointed questions – one of which was about a corrupt Barbados police sergeant who had been receiving “side cash” from the Codrington family’s DVD store. Here is the comment…

OMG
November 13, 2007 at 12:01 am
Cant believe I miss this.

Thanks BFP. This will be passed on to the appropriate solicitor.

Can anyone out there provide answers to the following questions?

1. Which government minister was building a Day Care centre at the back of the collapsed apartment?

2. Who allowed construction to begin again after it was stopped for one week prior to the Cave In.

3.Who knows the name of the owner of the apartment block.

4. Will the powers that be write off the date (August 28th) on the death certificates as an error?

5. When will the inquest be held?

6. Who will a famous Sgt. get his side cash from now that the Codringtons have closed the DVD store.

7. What is the media really doing with the telethon money? Trust me, they aint give a boy a cent.

Flash Forward To September 2008: Police Sergeant Paul Vaughan Charged With Corruption Over DVD Store Bribes!

Last September, Royal Barbados Police Force Sergeant Paul Vaughan was charged with taking $56,500 in bribes over a two and a half year period from a DVD store owner who was selling counterfeit movies. At the time that Sergeant Vaughan was taking the DVD store bribes, he was a member of the Barbados Police Copyright Infringement Unit.

Nice touch, don’t you think?

We reported the charges in our story Corrupt Director Of Public Prosecutions Must Now Prosecute His Corrupt Police Friend For Accepting Bribes!!!

THEN YESTERDAY… I stumbled upon the original comment by OMG made in November of 2007 where it is said that a corrupt Police Sergeant took “side cash” from the Codrington family’s DVD store!

So we wonder: was Paul Vaughan the corrupt police officer spoken about by OMG, or is there more than one police officer taking bribes to protect DVD shop owners who sell counterfeit DVDs?

Tell the world what you know folks… it is all anonymous here at BFP, and if you want to add another layer of protection for your self you can always post a comment here through www.anonymouse.org.

Let’s out any other corrupt police officers here and now!

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