Surrey

FBU backing for Zane Gbangbola Thames flood death inquiry

Memorial picture of Zane
Image caption Seven-year-old Zane Gbangbola died five years ago

Calls for an independent inquiry into the death of a seven-year-old boy during the Thames floods of 2014 have been backed by the FBU in Surrey.

The firefighters' union said questions had been "left unanswered" over Zane Gbangola's death at his Chertsey home.

An inquest concluded he died of carbon monoxide poisoning generated by a petrol pump used to clear floodwater.

Zane's parents believe hydrogen cyanide (HCN) from a lake built over a former landfill site killed their son.

Lee Belsten, from the Surrey FBU, which has members who dealt with the incident, said: "It is public knowledge that hydrogen cyanide was detected in the house and we'd ask that gets looked into.

"From behind the house, there was a landfill site."

He added: "We have to get the government to look at this."

Image caption The family home next to the Thames was partly flooded

At the inquest, coroner Richard Travers said an HCN reading taken near the front door was triggered by the presence of oxides of nitrogen which probably came from a fire engine.

He said landfill could be a source of toxic gases, but no soil or water testing at the house or the land behind it found evidence of a source of HCN.

Mr Travers also found all the family had normal HCN readings when tested.

Image caption The Thames had burst its banks causing severe floods that year

However, Zane's father Kye Gbangbola, who had a cardiac arrest that day and was left in a wheelchair, said his diagnosis was paraplegia due to hydrogen cyanide poisoning.

"How anybody could suggest something different for Zane is beyond me," he said.

The family have previously criticised the conduct of the inquest claiming anything to do with HCN was "marginalised", and Andy Burnham MP described the handling of the hearing as "seriously flawed".

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