May orders probe into London tower block fire

Enlarge this image

Before the renovations started, there had been complaints from local residents that the building was a firetrap.

The block contained 120 units consisting of one or two bedrooms, and it's believed there may have been up to 600 people inside at the time of the fire, though this has not been confirmed.

There are reports that the cladding on the London tower block destroyed by a fire may have accelerated the blaze, writes Claire Anderson. "But it would also be deeply distressing for families for us to release wrong information".

London Fire chief Dany Cotton said that the intensity of the blaze was unlike anything she had ever seen, sentiments echoed by the prince.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William have also met with residents who were affected by the fire.

Javid said inspections of similar buildings had been ordered, with particular attention to the modern cladding used to beautify and add insulation to ageing concrete and steel structures.

The aluminium cladding, called Reynobond, was made by USA company Arconic and had a polyethylene core, which the reports said was slightly cheaper than fire-resistant models by the same manufacturer.

Residents and victims have expressed outrage at Prime Minister Theresa May, who visited the site the day before without meeting with local residents. Unfortunately, that number is only expected to rise as officials continue to search for dozens of missing persons.

Reportedly, some people then left the building though others remained inside.

The Local Government Association, representing 370 councils in England and Wales, says extra safety checks have been organized across local authorities, including Camden, Newham, Croydon and Redbridge.

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London Thursday called for an interim report into the Grenfell Tower fire to be published within weeks, saying: "There are questions that demand answers".

Residents had long complained about fire safety risks at Grenfell Tower during a refurbishment project completed a year ago, but said their concerns went unheeded.

Organisers appealed for calm as hundreds of people - some of them holding posters of the missing - surrounded the building demanding answers from the council over the deaths.

"Any attack on emergency services performance is outrageous politicking by Labour", he said.

London police said an investigation, led by a detective from its homicide and major crime unit, would examine whether criminal offences had been committed although they said there was nothing to suggest the fire was started deliberately.

Planning documents detailing the recent refurbishment of the block did not refer to a type of fire barrier that safety experts said must be used when high-rise blocks are re-clad.

"They are simply not recognizable because of the fire", Fiona McCormack, from the Metropolitan Police's identification team, said of the victims found inside Grenfell Tower.

"The Prime Minister would have been shouted at by the residents, but she should have been willing to take that".

Commander Stuart Cundy said they had been able to remove the remains of only 12 victims from the building.

Related:

Comments


Other news