More Dutch prisons 'have fire safety risks'
22 September 2006, AMSTERDAM — Various Dutch prison complexes have fire safety concerns, a government inspectorate report revealed on Thursday.
22 September 2006
AMSTERDAM — Various Dutch prison complexes have fire safety concerns, a government inspectorate report revealed on Thursday.
Sources in The Hague have confirmed that the report — ordered after the Schiphol Airport fire killed 11 people last year — has identified fire risks in comparable detention centres.
The prison complex Kamp Zeist is one of the jails singled out in the Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment Ministry's inspectorate report.
The report said fire fighters did not know how quickly they could get to the scene of a fire and that evacuation plans were not practiced often enough.
Housing Minister Sybilla Dekker confirmed at the end of August that the government had placed greater priority on the compliance with fire safety regulations at 'unit complexes'.
Her 'assistance' given to owners, users and builders of certain 'container homes' was based on the inspectorate's investigation.
The inspectorate investigated five of the nation's 24 'container complexes' that are similar to Schiphol East, where last year's devastating blaze broke out.
The resulting report — in which the labour inspectorate was also involved — was drawn up at the request of the Parliament and the Dutch Safety Board (OVV), chaired by Pieter van Vollenhoven.
The publication of the report on Thursday coincided with the publication of the damming OVV report over the Schiphol fire.
Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner and Minister Dekker resigned in response to the report's findings, which said fewer deaths would have occurred if government authorities had not breached regulations.
The Justice and Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment ministries took the full brunt of the Thursday's criticism.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Dutch news