Bri­tish po­lice have rea­son­able grounds to sus­pect ‘cor­po­rate man­slaugh­ter’ in fa­tal tower blaze

The Hamilton Spectator - - FRONT PAGE - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

LON­DON — Bri­tish po­lice said Thurs­day they have “rea­son­able grounds” to sus­pect that lo­cal author­i­ties may have com­mit­ted cor­po­rate man­slaugh­ter in a deadly high­rise fire in Lon­don.

The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice force said it has of­fi­cially in­formed the Royal Bor­ough of Kens­ing­ton and Chelsea, which owns the Gren­fell Tower pub­lic hous­ing block in­volved in the blaze, and the man­age­ment group the Kens­ing­ton and Chelsea Tenant Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion that they are un­der sus­pi­cion.

The news came in a let­ter from po­lice sent to res­i­dents of the build­ing.

The let­ter said a se­nior rep­re­sen­ta­tive of each body will be in­ter­viewed about the fire as part of the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The po­lice force con­firmed to The As­so­ci­ated Press that the let­ter is gen­uine, but stressed it does not mean a de­ci­sion has been made on whether to charge any in­di­vid­ual or or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Po­lice have said for weeks that their in­ves­ti­ga­tion will con­sider whether any­one should be charged with a crime.

The force said Thurs­day it was “con­sid­er­ing the full range of of­fences, from cor­po­rate man­slaugh­ter to reg­u­la­tory breaches.”

At least 80 peo­ple died June 14 when an early-morn­ing fire ripped through the west Lon­don high­rise. It was the dead­li­est fire in Bri­tain in more than a cen­tury.

Huge in­ves­ti­ga­tions by po­lice, fire of­fi­cials and other of­fi­cials are un­der­way to de­ter­mine how a blaze that started with a re­frig­er­a­tor in one apart­ment got out of con­trol so quickly in the 24-storey build­ing.

At­ten­tion has fo­cused the build­ing’s new alu­minum cladding, in­stalled dur­ing a re­cent ren­o­va­tion, and author­i­ties want an­swers fast be­cause thou­sands of other build­ings in the coun­try could be af­fected.

An­gry res­i­dents want to know how build­ing reg­u­la­tions that were meant to be among the world’s best could have failed so cat­a­stroph­i­cally.

Many ac­cuse of­fi­cials in Kens­ing­ton and Chelsea, one of Lon­don’s rich­est bor­oughs, of ig­nor­ing their safety con­cerns be­cause the build­ing was home to a largely im­mi­grant and work­ing-class pop­u­la­tion.


At least 80 peo­ple died in June’s Gren­fell Tower fire in Lon­don.

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