Womenz Magazine

Dad fears Scots eco activist kids could be killed in tunnel under HS2 train station

The dad of two Scots eco campaigners who tunnelled under a planned new railway believes their lives are being put at risk.

Environmental activist Roc Sandford claims eviction tactics being used against his daughter Blue and son Lazer could kill them.

Blue, 18, and Lazer, 20, are deep in a 100ft long earth tunnel under London’s Euston Square Gardens to halt construction on the new £106billion HS2 high-speed railway.

In a bid to stop the work, five protesters including legendary green campaigner Swampy burrowed underground – where they have remained for five days.

Fellow protestor Larch Maxey, from Brixton, south London, said in a video posted on Facebook: “They need to help us make the tunnel safe again. We are now not getting the air supply we need in the tunnel.”

Now Sandford has called on the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to halt moves to get them out of the tunnel.

Sandford, who owns the island of Gometra near Mull off ­Scotland’s west coast, said: “It is clear a dangerous situation is rapidly evolving. This is an emergency. HSE’s current response is inadequate.

“Heads will roll at HSE on this, ideally at the top, they need to get in there before someone gets seriously hurt.

“This is not a time to get bureaucratic and play for time, they need to get down to Euston and do their job, which is to listen to what the protesters are saying and address the life-­threatening risks they are being subjected to at the hands of HS2 and NET (National Eviction Team).”

Sandford claims the eviction team has put lives at risk by denying protesters the right to monitor oxygen levels in the depths of the tunnel.

He said: “The first day in the tunnel, NET gave the protestors an oxygen monitor to check oxygen in the tunnels.

“It went red and started bleeping and recorded 19 and 19.6 in the tunnels and 24 in the down-shaft. NET is now refusing to let them continue monitoring, claiming it is sufficient to monitor oxygen halfway down the downshaft, where it is refreshed by the atmosphere.

“Meanwhile, HS2 is issuing false statements to the press saying the protesters are refusing to measure the oxygen, so putting their lives at risk.”

Sandford’s children have taken on his strong environmental beliefs, although he insists he is not as brave as them.

He said: “They have completely outclassed me in their protests, which proves it isn’t coming from me. I am always begging them to be careful and I sometimes feel like I am going to collapse with fear but I am also so proud of what they are achieving.

“But I understand why they are doing it, they don’t have a choice. They’re sick of watching nature dying and the UK Government waffling and doing everything except what it takes.

“It’s not fair on such young people to have to clear up other people’s mess.

“But they don’t have a choice – it’s an emergency, the climate is breaking down, nature is breaking down around us.”

Blue, who spends half her time on the isle of Gometra, which is owned by her father, and half the time in London, where her mother lives, said: “I’m prepared to stay here as long as it takes. I don’t regret doing this, I think it has a real chance of stopping HS2.”

The schoolgirl, known as the British Greta Thunberg, is on school strike over what she sees as Government inaction on climate change.

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said: “Concerns have been raised with HSE and these are being looked into. We remain in contact with HS2 in order to review any plans that would affect workers, protesters or rescue personnel.”

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