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Fire in London : what'you know

The fire that ravaged a building of social housing of 24-storey to London in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, has killed at least 12 people dead and 78 injured, 18 of which are in a critical state, and many of the disappeared. While the controversy swells on the management of the building, here’s what we know about this disaster :

The facts

Firefighters were alerted at 0: 54 (23: 54 GMT Tuesday) as a fire struck a building in the district of Kensington, west London, and arrived at the scene six minutes later. More than 40 fire trucks and 200 soldiers of the fire were mobilized to attempt to extinguish the flames that have spread very quickly and destroyed the building of the second up to the last floor. Wednesday afternoon, firefighters had gained access to all the floors and tried to turn off some of the homes side, while many residents lacked always the call. “In 29 years of career in the fire service, I had never seen anything of this magnitude,” said Dany Cotton, the fire chief of London, stating that the cause of the fire were not yet known. A security cordon has been put in place around the building. The specialized teams of firefighters have ruled out the risk of collapse of the tower.

The victims

The police in london announced that the fire has left at least 12 dead and 78 wounded, including 18 in a critical condition. “The search operations promise to be long and complex. We expect, unfortunately, that the number of dead increases, ” said Stuart Cundy, commander for the Metropolitan Police, who was not expecting to find other survivors. “Many people are missing “, said the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Several charities and local sports as well as places of worship are mobilized to accommodate the refugees, while the professional football clubs of Fulham and Queens Go Rangers (2nd division) – have offered material and financial support.

The building

The building, named Grenfell Tower, was built in 1974. It is located in the district of North Kensington, in the west of the capital, and a total of 120 apartments spread over 24 floors. The building is the property of the Municipality Royal Kensington and Chelsea. It is managed by the Kensington and Chelsea Taking Management Organisation (KCTMO), the public body which administers the social housing stock to the municipality of this london district. An operation of renovation, in the amount of 8.6 million pounds (9.8 million euros), was completed in may 2016. The company Rydon, in charge of the work, has assured that the renovation ” has passed all the mandatory controls in standards and fire safety rules “. On a blog (grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com), a group of residents pointed to for several years the deficiencies of the information system and protection of the inhabitants of the building in case of fire. In November 2016, he argued that ” only a catastrophe could bring to light the incompetence of the owner and put an end to the neglect observed about the safety rules “. “All our warnings have fallen on deaf ears so that a disaster like this was inevitable,” commented the collective after the tragedy. The KCTMO has acknowledged in a press release ” to be aware of the concerns of long-time residents “. “It is too early to speculate on the cause of the fire “, he added. Gavin Barwell., former minister of Housing and the current head of the office of the First minister Theresa May, announced a review of security measures in the buildings after a previous fire in London in 2009. No assessment has since been published.

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