Inquiry promises to find truth behind Grenfell fire
LONDON: A public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire that killed at least 80 people in June held its first session yesterday, with its chairman promising to explain the causes of what he called “a tragedy unprecedented in modern times”.
The 24-storey social housing block, home to a poor, multi-ethnic community, was destroyed in an inferno that started in a fourth-floor apartment in the middle of the night and quickly engulfed the building.
The session started with a minute’s silence to honour the victims, whose exact number remains unknown because of the devastation inside.
“(The inquiry) can and will provide answers to the pressing questions of how a disaster of this kind could occur in 21st century London and thereby, I hope, provide a small measure of solace,” said the chairperson, retired judge Martin Moore-Bick.
Grenfell Tower was part of a deprived housing estate in Kensington and Chelsea, one of the richest boroughs in London, and the disaster has prompted a national debate about social inequalities and the neglect of poor communities.
The inquiry will examine the cause and spread of the fire, the design, construction and refurbishment of the tower, whether fire regulations relating to high-rise buildings are adequate, whether they were complied with at Grenfell Tower, and the actions of the authorities before and after the tragedy. – Reuters