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Hazard Management and Emergency Planning by John Handmer, Dennis Parker

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CHAPTER 8

Corporate responsibility in an age of deregulation

PETER SPOONER

Introduction

 

On the clear, still evening of 6 March 1987 the cross-Channel ferry Herald of Free Enterprise suddenly rolled over on its side as it was leaving Zeebrugge, Belgium. One hundred and ninety-three people died; three hundred and forty-five survived. Fortuitously, the roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) ferry ended up, half-submerged, on a sandbank. But for this the loss of life would have been much higher and perhaps total. Even so, the bodies of most of the victims were trapped in the vessel and could not be recovered until it was raised and towed into harbour nearly six weeks later. They included the body of my younger son, Martin.

Pictures of that stricken vessel have ...

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