London has experienced one of the largest fires in recent history on the night of 13 to 14 June. The head of the metropolitan police, Stuart Cundy, announced this Friday that the fire of the tower of social housing at Grenfell in London had at least 30 people, estimating that this figure would rise further still. “We know that at least 30 people died in this fire, including a hospital, he said. Stuart Cundy has also announced that the disaster, which was triggered in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, was now totally extinguished, and that there was nothing to suggest that he had been deliberately caused.
On Thursday,the chief of the fire brigade, Dany Cotton was estimated that “it would be a miracle to find survivors” in the building, stressing on the channel SkyNews that the violence of the fire and the heat left little chances to the people who have not been able to escape the blaze. Whole families have not given sign of life, the media, referring to the dozens of people still missing. According to the mayor of the city, the balance is likely to worsen. In a statement on Facebook, Sadiq Khan, has expressed his concern about this balance : “A number of which I am afraid that it only increases “, he lamented on Wednesday evening.
According to firefighters, the research could take weeks due to the instability of the tower and in particular floors. Residents have questioned a management found to be very deficient, and the investigation on the origin of the fire is expected to open tracks to establish possible responsibilities. Of the 78 patients, 18 were in a critical condition, and many people remain unaccounted for, sparking fears of a balance sheet much heavier. “An operation of complex search over several days to be” committed now, according to Stuart Cundy, commander for the Metropolitan Police, who was not expecting to find other survivors.
“I heard screaming from everywhere and saw people jump out of their window. The tower was completely on fire. It was the horror “, has told theAgence France-Presse Khadejah Miller, who lives in a nearby building and were evacuated as a precaution. Other witnesses have seen parents throw their children out the window to try, in a desperate gesture, to save them from the inferno that ravaged this tower consisting of 120 apartments on 24 floors, close to the chic district of Notting Hill, in west London.
The facade of the tower, Grenfell, dating back to 1974, was almost completely burned Wednesday afternoon. While a few flames were still visible at mid-day, the fire chief of London, Dany Cotton, who acknowledged that he had ” never seen something on such a scale “, has ruled out the possibility of a collapse of the building. Engineers inspected the structure. The origin of the disaster remained unknown, but the anger was rising among the residents, which were failures to repeat.
Failure to repeat
“90 % of the residents have signed a petition at the end of 2015 complaining about the poor management of the company responsible for the maintenance of the building,” said David Collins, president of the association of the residents of the tower until last October. “I heard that some fire alarms have not worked, it does not surprise me. I’m in shock, collapsed, but not surprised, ” he said to the Agence France-Presse. David Collins also pointed to the responsibility of the municipality of the district of Kensington and Chelsea, claiming that an independent investigation had been, in vain, requested by the association.
Documents online dating back of about a year show that a group of residents had complained repeatedly to the state of the building and the fire risk potential, referring in particular to problems of lighting and emergency exit. The public body KCTMO (Kensington & Chelsea Tennant Management Organisation), the manager of the tower, acknowledged in a news release, ” be aware of the concerns of long-time residents “. “It is too early to speculate on the cause of the fire “, he added
Commissioned by the municipality of Kensington and Chelsea, the company Rydon has explained that he performed a “renovation” of almost 10 million euros of the building, which ” passed all the mandatory controls in standards and fire safety rules “. According to several residents, these works have, however, been able to play a role in the spread of fire, extremely fast.
The coating in question
Salah Chebiouni, a 45-year-old, who has managed to get out of the building at the time, told the Agence France-Presse that it smelled “burning plastic” and said a renovation at low cost : “It looked like metal. I thought that they had done something well. In fact, it was plastic. “For Dr Angus Law, subject specialist at the university of Edinburgh, it would seem that the nature of the outer coating is” largely responsible for the rapidity with which the fire spread “.
Gavin Barwell., new director of the office of the First minister Theresa May and former minister of Housing, has been accused by the tabloid of the left The Daily Mirror to be sitting on a report several years old on the risk of fire in buildings such as the tower Grenfell. The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has called for “answers” to be made while the leader of the opposition labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, believed that the austerity measures of the conservative government had their share of responsibility : “If you deprive the local authorities of the finance they need, it is the price to pay. ”
Theresa May is “deeply saddened” by the tragedy and “keeping abreast of current developments,” said a spokesman for Downing Street. Several survivors have also reported that they had been advised to remain confined in their apartments during the fire. “If we had followed these tips, you would be dead,” said Nicky Paramasivan to the BBC.