Gren­fell safety fail­ures

The Week - - News | Potics -

Ex­pert re­ports pre­sented to the Gren­fell Tower in­quiry this week out­lined a cat­a­logue of safety prob­lems at the block that had al­lowed the blaze to take hold. In her re­port, Dr Bar­bara Lane re­ferred to a “cul­ture of non-com­pli­ance”, say­ing that ba­sic fire safety mea­sures had been ei­ther miss­ing or in­ad­e­quate. More than 100 doors in­stalled when the block was re­fur­bished were not fire safe and may have failed in 20 min­utes in­stead of 60; an emer­gency lift for fire­fight­ers did not work; and a sys­tem to ex­tract smoke from com­mu­nal ar­eas failed. Flammable parts on win­dow frames spread the fire to the cladding on the build­ing – which did not com­ply with build­ing reg­u­la­tions and may not even have been as­sessed for fire safety; this, the in­quiry heard, was “sub­stan­tially to blame” for the scale of the catas­tro­phe. How­ever, the Lon­don Fire Bri­gade’s ad­vice to “stay put” also came un­der scru­tiny: the in­quiry was told that by 1:26am – half an hour af­ter the first 999 call was made – it was ap­par­ent that the fire was out of con­trol and rapidly spread­ing up the build­ing, and yet the or­der to evac­u­ate was not made un­til 2:47am. The in­quiry is now in its “factfind­ing” stage, which is ex­pected to last 18 months.

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