Inquiry prom­ises to find truth be­hind Grenfell fire

The Mercury - - NEWS -

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

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