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Hazard Management and Emergency Planning by John Handmer, Dennis Parker

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CHAPTER 4

Britain at risk: accountability and quality control in disaster management

SONDRA MILNE-HENDERSON

 

Introduction: The ‘Herald’ disaster

For the past two and a half years, since the sinking of The Herald of Free Enterprise in March 1987, I have been studying Britain's arrangements for the prevention, management and response to peacetime disasters. The Herald disaster contained crucial factors which should have alerted government that something was critically wrong with its perception of its own responsibilities in disaster management.

At approximately 1800 hours on 6 March 1987 the Herald of Free Enterprise, a roll-on/roll-off (ro/ro) passenger ferry carrying about 459 passengers commenced her ill-fated voyage from Zeebrugge in Belgium ...

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