LONDON'S BURNING: TOWERING INFERNO EXPECTED TO COLLAPSE


A 27-storey residential tower block in West London is ablaze in scenes reminiscent of the 9-11 "terrorist attack" in New York, with the building, gutted by fire, expected to collapse. 


The fire broke out just after 1am on Wednesday, with many of the 600 residents in their beds. Some people appear to be trapped and have been attempting to signal the 200 firefighters and rescue workers attending the blaze with torches and lights from their smartphones.

The building in question is Grenfell Tower on the Lancaster West Estate. It was built in the 1970s and in recent years has been going through rather chaotic renovation.

In December 2015 the Grenfell Action group reported a number of serious problems caused by renovation work:

  • There were big queues for lifts on each floor because the workers were using both of them.
  • The condition of the lifts at the start of the day were unacceptable; they were in the state that would be expected by the end of the day.
  • Cllr Atkinson stated that he had seen sad notes on front doors asking Rydon workers at least to knock before entering flats.

In 2016 the same group reported a major fire hazard in the building:
In recent weeks TMO staff allowed a quantity of household ‘bulk’ rubbish to accumulate, including old mattresses, in the temporary entrance foyer of the tower. This accumulation constituted a potential fire risk and a danger to residents. The TMO area manager and her staff were slow to react and no-one had been bothered to organise the clearence of this rubbish."
It is not yet known if the fire is connected to problems with renovation, or if there is another cause. At present it appears to be linked to the extreme overcrowding in London, combined with neglect by the local Conservative-run council. 

But, this being London, terrorism must also be considered as a possible cause, especially as a large number of the residents appear to have been of Middle Eastern origin.


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