UPDATED: October 10, 2010
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.
Barbados Attorney General announced Inquest results 3 years ago on August 31, 2007 Continue reading