Why were in­ferno vic­tims told to stay?

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

LONDON: The row over safety ad­vice that may have con­demned scores to die in Gren­fell Tower has es­ca­lated.

Sur­vivors said they es­caped only by ig­nor­ing of­fi­cial ad­vice from 999 op­er­a­tors to stay in their flats and wait for help.

Some waited for more than three hours un­til they de­cided to make a run for safety. Oth­ers stayed and died in their homes.

Emer­gency op­er­a­tors, of­fi­cials on mega­phones and build­ing signs urged ten­ants to stay put when the fire broke out at 12.50am on Wed­nes­day.

Many were trapped, scream- ing for help be­fore suc­cumb­ing to the in­ferno. One rel­a­tive said a fam­ily was “wiped out” af­ter re­fus­ing to leave, while a woman said she “will never lis­ten to of­fi­cers again”.

Those re­spon­si­ble for the safety of ten­ants faced ur­gent ques­tions about why the fire spread so quickly through the 24-storey build­ing.

Fire Brigade Union safety ex­pert David Sib­ert said: “The prin­ci­ple that tower blocks are built on is that ev­ery flat is a fire-re­sist­ing box – ev­ery flat is com­pletely sur­rounded by fire-re­sist­ing con­struc­tion from the rest of the build­ing.

“So you should be able to set fire to your own flat and leave it to com­pletely burn out and it won’t af­fect any­body else in the build­ing.”

That this did not hap­pen at Gren­fell Tower will be a key el­e­ment of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. – Daily Mail

PIC­TURE: REUTERS

Fire­fight­ers at west London’s Gren­fell Tower apart­ments, which was de­stroyed by a fire that killed at least 30 peo­ple on Wed­nes­day.

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