The latest incident in the Bibby Stockholm barge saga: Dorset council told Home Office contractors that potentially deadly Legionella bacteria had been found on the same day(7 August) that 39 asylum seekers were moved onto the barge. The asylum seekers were not moved off the barge until 11 August. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) was informed on 9 August, which Dorset council said was in line with technical guidance after further inspections were made. It is unclear when the Home Office was informed by its contractors that the bacteria was present, but incident meetings were held on 10 August. Legionella can appear if water systems are not used for a long time – as was the case for the Bibby Stockholm – and requires extensive sterilisation and flushing of the water system to remove it. Other things on the Home Office’s “what went wrong?” list for “stop the boats” week include: an Afghan intelligence analyst who had helped the British military in Kabul was threatened with deportation to Rwanda after hearing nothing on his sanctuary application; and six migrants died in the Channel at the weekend after their boat got into difficulty near Sangatte.
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