Lon­don fire death toll may never be known

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

LON­DON: The death toll from the tower block blaze in west Lon­don last week may never be known, be­cause some of the apart­ments in the build­ing may have been ir­reg­u­larly sub­let, ac­cord­ing to a lawyer.

At least 79 peo­ple lost their lives due to the blaze that de­stroyed the 24-storey tower block in the Kens­ing­ton district of the city last Wed­nes­day, ac­cord­ing to the Lon­don Metropoli­tan Po­lice. The po­lice said the death toll was ex­pected to rise.

How­ever, Vic­to­ria Vasey, di­rec­tor of the North Kens­ing­ton Law Cen­tre, said that be­cause of the ir­reg­u­lar prop­erty ten­an­cies, it was im­pos­si­ble to ac­cu­rately know how many peo­ple were in the build­ing at the time of the blaze. “A lot of peo­ple were ir­reg­u­lar in their ten­an­cies and some were sub­let­ting. Some of them were il­le­gal sub­te­nan­cies.”

The apart­ments in the build­ing were rented to fam­i­lies and peo­ple nom­i­nated by lo­cal author­ity the Royal Bor­ough of Kens­ing­ton and Che­le­sea as part of its le­gal obli­ga­tions to pro­vide hous­ing.

The rents of the ten­an­cies were be­low mar­ket lev­els. Some ten­ants may have sub­let their ten­an­cies il­le­gally to make money.

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