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Hazelwood power station to be demolished

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Victoria’s defunct Hazelwood Power Station is about to be demolished, with site owner Engie assuring locals that asbestos inside its chimneys will not be a threat.

Engie unveiled its plan to detonate the station’s eight 137m chimneys in an online presentation for the Latrobe Valley community on Thursday evening.

Demolition manager Tom McDowall said that after a thorough risk assessment process, the company had decided that “controlled collapse”, or detonation, was the safest option.

The chimneys will be blown up one by one, four seconds apart, with the collapse of all eight expected to be complete within five minutes.

The Hazelwood power station and diary cattle are seen in the La Trobe Valley in Morwell. (File image)
The Hazelwood power station and diary cattle are seen in the La Trobe Valley in Morwell. (File image) Credit: JULIAN SMITH/AAPIMAGE

There is about 50kg of asbestos in each chimney and about 12 tonnes of concrete.

Community members voiced concerns about the spread of asbestos from the explosions during the live Facebook forum.

Mr McDowall said the detonations would not fragment the asbestos and that it would stay contained upon demolition.

“It’s a bonded product, it’s not a fragmentation product, it’s secure within its structure,” he said.

“It then hits the ground and becomes an asbestos product on the ground.”

Mr McDowall said great care would be taken to conduct the demolition in prime weather conditions – a south-east to north-east direction with low wind speed – to control dust and plume from the explosions.

The site will be monitored for asbestos following the demolition in line with state laws.

The chimneys are expected to be demolished in late May or June.

Engie has been managing a process of retiring the brown-coal fuelled power station since it closed in 2017, with the ultimate goal to rehabilitate the 4000 hectare site.

The site has been a headache for the Latrobe Valley community since 2014, when a bushfire spread to the coal mine and burned for 45 days.

Hazelwood Power Corporation was fined $1.56 million on Tuesday in the Supreme Court of Victoria for putting employees and nearby residents at risk by failing to prepare for the fire.

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Taxi driver after fare-dodger spat at him and said he had coronavirus

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Taxi driver Trevor Belle was spat at by a man who owed him £9 and died less than a month later
Trevor Belle was spat at by a man who owed him £9 and died less than a month later

A taxi driver died with coronavirus after being spat at by a fare-dodger who claimed to have the disease, a family friend has said.

Trevor Belle, 61, died in the Royal London Hospital on April 18, having tested positive for Covid-19. Several weeks earlier, the east Londoner had been spat at by a passenger who owed him £9, according to his friend Damian Briggs.

After the incident in Stratford on March 22, Mr Belle began to feel unwell with symptoms of coronavirus, Mr Briggs explained: ‘A few days later he got rushed into hospital, he spent three weeks battling it and unfortunately didn’t make it to the end.’

The new grandfather died three days after his 61st birthday, and his friend added: ‘It’s devastating that he’s caught it doing his job.’

After his death, Mr Belle’s blood was donated to research into the effects of Covid-19 in people from BAME communities, Mr Briggs said, as he paid tribute to his ‘die-hard Arsenal supporter’ friend.

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He described them as ‘not blood brothers, but we are brothers’.

He said: ‘He loves the game, he loves Arsenal, he loves supporting to see kids do really well in the game. He did a lot of volunteering stuff.’

A GoFundMe page for Mr Belle has now raised £6,000 – double its target – to cover the costs of a funeral and ‘celebration of his life’.

Mr Briggs added: ‘Best way I can describe Trev is just a jovial person who, as serious as life is, would always find a way to get a smile on your face so you can take your mind off the problem.

‘It was very rare you saw something that bothered this guy. No matter how bad it was, he always found a way to have a laugh and chuckle.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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Source: Metro News

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Eaton death: Homicide detectives investigate after man with ‘significant injuries’ found dead

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Homicide detectives are investigating after a man was found dead in Western Australia’s south-west region.

Police were called to the property in the Bunbury suburb of Eaton on Thursday night and found a man deceased.

WA Police were met with what they described as a “confronting situation” after receiving multiple calls from the public.

“Police were called to a residence on Cleveland Bay Avenue around 8.20pm last night (21 May 2020), where they located the man deceased,” WA Police said in a statement.

A man in his 40s, who is said to have been known to the victim, is currently assisting police with the investigation.

South West District Superintendent Geoff Stewart spoke to reporters on Friday, explaining significant injuries were involved.

“As I said, it was a very confronting situation, not only for police but for the people that would have come out and seen it,” he said.

“There were significant injuries involved, I won’t go into exactly the types of things that were used, but I can say items have been seized.”

– with AAP

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Test ALL care home residents and staff every week or crisis in care homes will continue to burn

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Sam Monaghan, chief executive of Methodist Homes (MHA), has called for residents and staff to be tested for coronavirus every week

Sam Monaghan, chief executive of Methodist Homes (MHA), has called for residents and staff to be tested for coronavirus every week

Sam Monaghan, chief executive of Methodist Homes (MHA), has called for residents and staff to be tested for coronavirus every week

Care home providers are calling for residents and staff to be tested for coronavirus every week after research suggested asymptomatic patients were continuing to spread the disease.

Sam Monaghan, chief executive of Methodist Homes (MHA), said the crisis in the sector would continue to burn because staff are unknowingly bringing the virus into care homes.

MHA has had at least one member of staff test positive in 20 out of its 28 homes, according to results from a Government pilot of whole-home testing,

Mr Monaghan told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: ‘If you have got people walking around the home, interacting with others, then you are going to have that real risk of continuing to bring the infection in. 

‘And with the relaxation of some of the lockdown measures out in the community then there could be the potential for some of our staff to then be more susceptible to picking up the virus and bringing it into our homes.

‘What we’re saying is either [test] once a week or once a fortnight. Some of the research that seems to have been done would suggest that weekly would be the most effective way.’ 

Mail Force charity, set up by Daily Mail and General Trust plc, delivers PPE to Presentation Sisters Care Home in Matlock, Derbyshire

Mail Force charity, set up by Daily Mail and General Trust plc, delivers PPE to Presentation Sisters Care Home in Matlock, Derbyshire

Mail Force charity, set up by Daily Mail and General Trust plc, delivers PPE to Presentation Sisters Care Home in Matlock, Derbyshire

At least a quarter of the UK’s coronavirus victims have been care homes residents, statistics released this week by the Office for National Statistics revealed amid a growing scandal over the number of elderly people dying from the disease.

Between March 2 and May 1 there were 12,526 deaths in care homes where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, out of a total of 44,000 victims. 

More than 340 care homes have announced outbreaks of COVID-19 in the past week, with four out of every 10 in the country saying they have had cases at some point. 

The Government is under growing pressure to do more to keep the most vulnerable in society safe. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has pledged to test every care home resident and staff member in England for coronavirus by ‘early June’.  

FURY AS CABINET MINISTER ADMITS GOVERNMENT ‘CHOSE’ NHS OVER CARE HOMES

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland sparked fury on Wednesday by admitting that ministers ‘chose’ to protect the NHS over care homes because there was not enough coronavirus testing capacity.

Mr Buckland gave the clearest statement yet that a decision was made to prioritise the health service when the outbreak was at its most ferocious. 

The government has been heavily criticised for sending patients back to homes from hospitals without tests, and not putting routine screening in place for staff and residents.

Mr Buckland fuelled the row by conceding the government had to make a ‘choice’ about where to deploy testing capacity – which was languishing at a few thousand a day in early March, although it has now been ramped up to over 100,000.

‘I think we needed to make a choice about testing and we did decide to focus upon the NHS,’ he told Sky News.

‘The issue with care homes is that we’ve got many thousands of different providers, different settings, there have been lots of examples of care homes that have mercifully stayed infection free, but sadly far too many cases of infection and then death.’ 

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Mr Monaghan added: ‘Just two weeks ago we had a home where there had been no infections throughout the whole of the pandemic. 

‘We had a case develop in one of our residents, they started to show symptoms, they were tested and found to be positive. 

‘None of the residents had been in or out of hospital, there was no other way that it could have come in and yet none of the staff were presenting any symptoms and at that point it was before the whole home-testing procedure was in. 

‘There was a real reluctance to test staff, they were going to test the residents but they were not going to test the staff.

‘But that was the most highly likely way the infection could have come into the home.’ 

Weekly coronavirus-related deaths in care homes also fell to 1,666 in the week ending May 8.

This is the second weekly fall in a row, down from 2,423 deaths in the previous seven days – a decrease of 31 per cent.

But the proportion of coronavirus deaths taking place in care homes rose, with care home deaths accounting for 42.4 per cent of all the COVID-19 deaths, up from 40 per cent in the week from April 25 to May 1.

Officials have come under fire for not offering enough support to care home staff and residents at the beginning of the outbreak.

Bosses say homes were not given enough personal protective equipment, were given hospital patients who hadn’t been tested for the virus.

It emerged this week that untested temporary staff may have been inadvertently spreading the illness in the sector’s scramble to fill vacancies left by workers in self-isolation.  

Source: BBC – Daily Mail

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