The horrific fire that engulfed Grenfell Tower has claimed at least 30 lives with 70 people still unaccounted for. Some may never be identified due to the intense heat of the inferno. The Guardian is providing ongoing updates as to different areas of concern.
The local government has promised to house those who are now homeless within the area. However, Prime Minister Theresa May has not fully backed that pledge. According to the Guardian, she said, “I want to reassure the residents of Grenfell Tower – all of whom are in our thoughts and prayers – that the government will make every effort to make sure that they are rehoused in London and as close as possible to home.”
The investigation into how a fire of this magnitude started and what made it accelerate at the rate it did have already begun, as has the finger-pointing. According to The Guardian, the choice of “the cladding” that was used in a recent renovation has come under suspicion.
As far back as 2000, Gordon Cooke – a leading fire safety consultant – warned in a report commissioned by the mineral wool industry ‘the use of plastic foam cored sandwich panels … is difficult to justify when considering life safety.’
He also told the Guardian that these panels “can contribute to the severity and speed of fire development,” which has led to ‘massive fire loses” in the past.
As the death toll climbs so will the anger as to how this building and others like it were allowed to be renovated with what appears to be substandard materials and workmanship.