Local council, jail staff 'to blame' for fatal fire
15 December 2005, AMSTERDAM — An independent commission claimed in its report published on Thursday that the fatal blaze at the Schiphol cell complex could have been avoided.
15 December 2005
AMSTERDAM — An independent commission claimed in its report published on Thursday that the fatal blaze at the Schiphol cell complex could have been avoided.
The commission, which was set up by the local council in Haarlemmermeer, said negligence by the council and by justice staff resulted in the small fire becoming a deadly blaze on 27 October. Eleven people, who were being detained pending deportation, died in the fire at the complex which also holds suspected drug smugglers.
The report said Haarlemmermeer Council had not followed up on all the recommendations to make the complex safer. The fire might have been stopped if an automatic sprinkler system was installed. The local council should have insisted on the system when the complex was being built.
The personnel of the cell complex, run by the Ministry of Justice, had waited too long to call the Fire Brigade, the commission said.
The Netherlands Institute for Fire Service and Disaster Management (Nibra) investigated the complex in 2002, after a fire broke out before the detention centre went into operation.
Mayor Fons Hertog of Haarlemmermeer declined to comment about the findings of Thursday's report.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news