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INQUEST NOT INQUIRY pt 2 – Serious Corruption

Followed on from Governments and Bodies Can’t Investigate Themselves Impartially

It just gets worse and worse and worse and worse… People need to be stripped of titles, investigated, charged and convicted properly and companies shut down. Community cooperatives/management would have done better than local and central government on this.

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/grenfell-tower-fire-mps-attack-kensington-council-for-failure-to-spend-%C2%A3270m-reserves-on-housing/ar-BBCOzNc

Grenfell Tower fire: MPs attack Kensington council for failure to spend £270m reserves on housing

The council responsible for Grenfell Tower, where at least 58 people are now thought to have lost their lives after Wednesday’s horrific fire, has been accused of carrying out “unacceptable” financial practises after it emerged the borough had stockpiled £274m of usable reserves following years of chronic underspending.

Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy, whose friend Khadija Saye was killed in the blaze, said very serious questions needed to be asked about why the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) was running a budget surplus despite repeated warnings from residents that the block posed a fire risk. The shadow Communities Secretary Andrew Gwynne said the council needed to “immediately explain itself” over why the funds were not used to ensure safe housing.

“If some of this money was spent on sprinkler systems and non-flammable cladding we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Mr Lammy told The Independent.

“Residents are saying that they feel as though they have been treated as second-class citizens because they are poor. It cannot be right that the council ran a budget surplus whilst families in their borough were living in such unsafe housing. That is simply unacceptable.

“The people of Kensington and Chelsea are angry and they have every right to be. We need answers and we need justice. Serious questions have to be asked about why the council was running a budget surplus when the Grenfell residents were warning about fire risks.”

Mr Gwynne said: “The council needs to immediately explain why these funds were not used to ensure safe housing for Kensington and Chelsea residents. There are too many opportunities for this tragedy to have been avoided.

At this time of intense stress and trauma, the least that these communities deserve are answers.”

In 2013/14, RBKC underspent by £30m “thanks to an overachieving efficiency drive,” according to Council Leader Nick Paget-Brown. [My Comment – this guy chats too much, he’s been allowed to why? https://fashionthatpays.wordpress.com/2017/06/16/grenfell-tower-conservative-tory-failures/%5D Instead of reinvesting the funds, top rate council tax-payers were subsequently offered a £100 rebate to account for the overspend.

“In deciding what to do with it, we have taken the view that it is simply wrong to discount from our calculations those whose money this was in the first place. In short, we think the right place for it is back with our residents,” Mr Paget-Brown wrote at the time.

While some of the reserve money is ring-fenced, the revelation follows claims that additional spending on the west London block could have prevented the tragedy that killed at least 58 people on Wednesday.

Questions were raised about the cladding that was fitted to the building during a 2015 refurbishment, which experts suggested may have helped the flames spread more rapidly throughout the tower than they would otherwise have.

Fitting a fire-resistant alternative would have cost as little as £5,000 extra to instal. The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association also said installing a sprinkler system would cost just £200,000.

“We have heard that the council gave residents a £100 rebate in 2014, when just £5,000 would have paid for non-flammable cladding on the outside of Grenfell Tower,” Mr Lammy said.

It follows claims by Labour Councillor Robert Atkinson the council was “bribing the electorate with its own money” after it “systematically and deliberately created underspends”.

“Our suspicion, based on past experience, remains that this council will bring in and hoard the people’s money in non election years (such as this) only to give it back as a pre-election bribe immediately before a council election – such as next year,” he said in a speech after 2017’s budget was announced.

“We think this council’s long standing practises of, every year, running huge underspends in its revenue budgets which it then transfers into Capital reserves is wrong, and, given the damage to services that has resulted over many years from the squeezing of revenue budgets it is not to put too fine a point on it – wicked.”

Mr Paget-Brown justified the rebate in 2014, saying it could not be ploughed back into services because it was a “one-off surplus”. Despite this, over the last four years, the General Fund at RBKC has consistently underspent, with draft figures for 2016/2017 showing a surplus of £10m.

The underspend figures come in contrast to those produced by the Borough of Islington, which has a similar demographic makeup to Kensington. In 2015/16, the Council underspent by £0.2m. In the same year, Newham, one of London’s poorest boroughs, underspent by £311,000.

The Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy details three reasons for a council to have reserves, one of which is to act as a “contingency cushion” for unexpected emergencies or events. But residents of the gutted block were growing increasingly angry over the council’s relief efforts following the fire.

Protesters stormed Kensington Town Hall chanting “justice” on Friday, carrying a list of demands they said authorities must meet. The Government was criticised for seemingly U-turning on a pledge to rehouse residents affected by the blaze within the borough, admitting on Friday that they may have to be relocated to other areas in London.

Despite the budget surplus, it appeared the RBKC was struggling to find accommodation in the borough for residents who were left homeless in the blaze.

Grieving relatives of the dead pointed to the repeated failures by those managing the properties to prevent such a tragedy on an unprecedented scale.

Residents of Grenfell Tower complained two years ago about the refurbishment of the building being done “using cheap materials” and workmanship that “cut corners”, The Independent revealed.

They later claimed the RBKC had done nothing to address their concerns.

It has also emerged that in order to save money, the council ditched the original proposed contractor, Leadbitter, for the refurbishment, and instead went with Rydon, a cheaper bid for the work.

In July 2013 the council’s Housing and Property Scrutiny Committee proposed to “market test the works through an open tender” after noting: “Leadbitter currently estimate the cost of the works to be £1.6m above the current, proposed budget.”

Rydon eventually completed the refurbishment in May 2016, for £2.5m less than the £11.278m quoted by Leadbitter.

Rydon has repeatedly said that all the refurbishment work carried out at Grenfell Tower met both building and fire regulation standards and was signed off by the council.

The Independent has contacted the RBKC for comment.

Another point is – usually businesses and institutions do their best to spend as much of their budgets as possible in order to justify them in the first place and make sure they get the same if not more funding in future, not less because they’ve been ‘efficient’. How did the money keep flooding in to Kensington and Chelsea despite not needing it because they never spent it?

And if they’ve got £270-4m in axillary, um isn’t this as deserving/qualifying a case as it gets? Why are the victims of Grenfell Tower only getting a measly £5m fund? Why is it even a possibility that they’ll be moved from their borough? Pay the f*cking private landlords b*stards, put ’em up in Buckingham Palace for all I care (yes I know it’s in Westminster) just stop being like some of the worst tyrants on the planet that you often advertise yourselves as superheroes and saviours against and go to war with and then moan about their people when you do the same to them and your own. Stop being like them and pay the price for your crimes against humanity, our animal companions and the environment.

Governments and Bodies Can’t Investigate Themselves Impartially – INQUEST NOT INQUIRY

This is not an internal inquiry.

This is a public investigation over public injuries, loss, deaths, property/mismanagement of funds, other landlord responsibilities such as not listening to complaints and intimidation  and the responses of public emergency services – let’s not add further mismanagement to the equation by making this an ‘inquiry’. The phrase ‘public inquiry‘ has always set my teeth on edge because they’re usually presided over people far removed from the public and what they go through e.g. Lords. And then what about actionable punishment? Oh yeah, that doesn’t really happen with inquiries – you get masses of report, observations, ideas, commentary and little else – and who is going to pay for it? It could cost more than the paltry 5 million fund Theresa May has promised to the victims, that won’t even accommodation let alone new homes. Then there’s no deadline, we’ve been promised interim reports but this could go on with parties passing the buck until the urgency of the situation has passed (sorry to say but damage limitation is preferred by some than taking responsibility for what they’ve done and it’s better for them in a less outraged environment when we’ve had other news take primary attention). The judges that sit at these inquiries tend to distance themselves afterwards as well because the public generally isn’t happy at the end but still, it’s better than an…

INQUEST.

Exactly the word that has been on my mind since I heard about Grenfell Tower. Not ‘inquiry’ but the voices in my head have been trying to go for ‘inquiry’ and making me forget. Thanks to the following article I snapped awake. I want a proper investigation with legal standing and that’s just me and outsider, can you imagine the victims of this situation and their loved ones? An inquiry is just a formal enquiry e.g. (not technical but a colloquial example) a person makes an enquiry, an establishment makes an inquiry – however both are just asking a question and in official Inquiries parties are presenting evidence they’re not necessarily being examined. Information comes out of an inquiry (without summary), not necessarily the ‘truth’ and there is no culpability. An Inquest is a trial.

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/other/grenfell-tower-fire-lawyer-calls-for-inquest-instead-of-public-inquiry-asking-what-needs-to-be-hidden/ar-BBCKKXT

Grenfell Tower fire: Lawyer calls for inquest instead of public inquiry asking ‘What needs to be hidden?’

Grenfell Tower residents should demand an inquest rather than a public inquiry to get answers about the tragedy, according to a solicitor who acted for people affected in the 2009 Lakanal House fire.

Sophie Khan said that in an inquest the Government would “lose control” and a jury would be able to deliver its conclusion regardless of whether it was uncomfortable to hear.

In a public inquiry, such as that ordered by the Prime Minister into the fire that killed at least 17 on Wednesday, a minister will set the terms of reference, which guide how the hearings proceed.

Ms Khan told BBC Newsnight: “In an inquest they lose control of what a jury verdict will do. Juries will come out with narrative verdicts which may be very difficult for the Government to hear.

“You can’t have both, you can only have one or the other. They [residents] should really be demanding an inquest.

“I’m very concerned as to why Ms May came out so quickly to say, ‘public inquiry’. What is there, that she knows, that needs to be hidden?”

She added: “We have to look at the fire assessments because here there is a fire issue as well. It’s not just the council we need to look at. What were the fire brigade doing? Refurbishments have been done, what tests did they do on the building?”

Ms May has said there will be a “proper investigation” following the Grenfell Tower fire, adding that if there are “any lessons to be learned they will be, and action will be taken”.

Announcing the inquiry, she added: “We need to ensure that this terrible tragedy is properly investigated. People deserve answers. The inquiry will give them.”

Downing Street declined to comment further when approached by The Independent.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said residents were “understandably very angry” that previous concerns had not been addressed in one of the wealthiest areas of the UK, calling for the inquiry’s leading judge to release an interim report over the summer.

© Provided by Independent Print Limited

Inquest Not Inquiry – we’re going for justice not just information. Suspicious circumstances = INQUEST. Make them legally accountable, don’t just offer recommendations that rarely see the light of day.

Telling People to Stay Put, and Repeatedly, was Not the Right Answer

There’s a lot of information on missing people on this page but here’s a few quotes:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4610428/Artist-named-fourth-victim-Grenfell-Tower-blaze.html

Rania Ibrham: No contact after filming harrowing video from 23rd floor

Ms Ibrham also sent a heartbreaking Snapchat message to another friend at 2.45am in which she said in Arabic, ‘forgive me everyone, goodbye’. In the video Ms Ibrham, who is from Sudan, screams ‘Hello, hello, come here’ as she ignores the advice of a friend and family members to keep her door closed.

Residents are seen rushing through her door as they try to shelter from the smoke and flames of the inferno.

El-Wahabi family: Couple and three children who lived on 21st floor

The family all lived on the 21st floor of the tower, according to Mr Wahabi’s sister. Hanan Wahabi told reporters: ‘I rang him and the fire had not reached the top of the block at that point. He said he had been told to stay inside, stay in one room together and put towels under the door.

‘I told him to leave. He said he was going to come. Then I called him and he said there was too much smoke. The last time I saw him they were waving out the window. The last time I spoke to his wife, he was on the phone to the fire brigade.’

Housewife Amina Ahmed, 28, who lives on the 19th floor of next door tower block Winstable, knew the Moroccan family of five.

She said: ‘They were on the 21st floor of Grenfell and were told not to leave their flat when the fire started. Had they left at the time they would have got out alive.

‘I’m so heartbroken as I could see it and could hear families screaming. I felt so helpless. Our building is very similar so we are just terrified of it happening to us one day.’

Zainab and Jeremiah Dean: Told to stay in their 14th floor flat

Francis Dean said his sister Zainab told been told by firefighter to remain in her flat on the 14th floor along with her son Jeremiah, 2.

He told The Telegraph: ‘My sister called me to say there was a fire in the tower. I told her to leave by the stairs but she said she had been told to stay inside her flat. That was in the early hours of today and I’ve not heard from her since. I fear the worst.’

Mr Dean said that a firefighter used his phone to speak to his sister. ‘He told her to keep calm and that they were coming to get her,’ he said. ‘He kept saying that to her again and again.

‘But then he handed me the phone and said to me ‘Tell her you love her’. I knew then to fear the worst. The phone went dead and I couldn’t talk to her.’

Raymond ‘Moses’ Bernard who lived on the 21st floor

Friends of the popular Raymond ‘Moses’ Bernard, one of at least 70 people reported missing after the Grenfell Tower fire in London, say hopes of finding him alive are ebbing away as the days pass.

But on Wednesday night he decided to stay in his own flat on the top floor with the dog the couple shared, a King Charles spaniel named Marley. ‘There’s no way he would have left the dog,’ said Trish. ‘The dog was like their child.’

Grenfell Tower block fire in London Before and After Cladding

Daily Mail
File photo dated 05/05/11 of the Grenfell Tower in west London, where several people died after a huge fire destroyed the tower block with witnesses reporting residents trapped on upper floors as the flames tore rapidly up the building.

What was the point in the cladding at all, in wasting how much of the refurbishment budget on it? What was the point!?!? The people didn’t need that (let alone for it to burn to almost the top of the building 20 minutes), how many improvements the residents could have had instead… The old building minus the ugly prison looking cladding wouldn’t have burned like that.

And what is this:

Grenfell Tower Time Fire Took to Spread Infographic

Daily Mail

Why is there 21 floors in this infographic, 27 floors in the caption and reportedly 24 floors elsewhere in the news plus info from missing persons on 21+ floors in this article and other places. I keep seeing this discrepancy everywhere.

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All those people – if they hadn’t been told to stay put they’d have a much better chance of surviving, they could of gotten to lower floors where they could’ve been reached and/or taken in by others who were about to be rescued or even made it out the door. Along with that they could’ve grabbed their families, pets, friends, neighbours and money/essentials and gone. Always, always, always have a bag packed. Most people are not ready for emergencies and the only time they have an overnight bag packed is in pregnancy or with those who need constant care; tons of people have forgotten how to react in a power outage for crying out loud and don’t have any backup. Always have an overnight bag packed as if you were going camping and your valuables/medicine easy to get to. No one is going to that for you and in terms of retrieving items, that’s in the aftermath – if they survived. Don’t pack the kitchen sink just everything that is really important to you, you won’t be able to get back your parent’s/grandparent’s gift such as a necklace or photos that could you haunt you for years in regret because you forgot it. Just pack it away ready, if you use it put it back in your safety bag immediately afterwards. For everything else such as a torch, dried food, water canister, dry clothing, toilet paper etc keep a spare set in that bag. Don’t pack more than you can carry. Even if you’re single and don’t have to hold on to/support other people/animals you don’t know who/what you’ll meet on the way now how tough your route(s) is going to get. Time is of the essence and you have to use that time wisely – a few seconds and minutes can both seem like not enough and an eternity when you’re in an emergency/fight, sometimes it seems like slow motion and you can get a lot done in them especially if your rescuer is hours away and the threat moves faster and in this case a lot faster towards you.

Every emergency drill I’ve been in tells you to leave your items (bag, coat etc), leave everything (your work for example) and go but then you find people are rushing out pushing past and leaving pregnant women behind who have to make a much slower descent, older people, disabled people etc – only to be followed by co-ordinators/officials saying you should’ve waited and helped them too. D’uh. Common sense is hard in any situation let alone a life threatening one, I just wish we didn’t defer so much of our personal responsibility and freedom to others/’professionals’ who don’t always have our best interests at heart, are bogged down by protocol or who like are human and can’t always think straight even if/when they’re trained – so many of those people/animals in Grenfell Tower and other places all around the world all the time didn’t ‘need’ to die.

We shouldn’t have ‘examples’ like this to learn from, we should know and remember already.

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On another tangent, there’s something which has been bothering me at the back of my mind which I haven’t wanted to admit – but when I look at the names and photos of the dead and missing there’s one thing which keeps coming up (and something I wondered when initially hearing about this just because it tends to be a factor whether we like it or not, think its overhyped or not)… Most of the people shown so far are not White or not obviously so.

He brings up a lot of salient points; the race issue, the fact that if a regular person injured or killed someone they’d be brought up on it straight away but corporations and institutions aren’t it’s like they faceless and hard to pin down, desensitization to the ongoing wars, that we all live here together why are some people more prone to suffering than others e.g. through class/wealth etc.

Grenfell Tower Missing People

Grenfell Tower Missing People

Some of the Missing People and Contact Details for Assistance

I can see sentiment rising that a lot of the missing people are actually dead in the building and the information just not released but until official lists are given it’s best to keep an eye out:

Grenfell Tower Missing People

Grenfell Tower Missing People

And at the same time – people like this heartfelt sincere woman deserve to be heard and I agree with a lot of what she says, not all but still. Well done for saying what has to be said:

She’s right – 500 funerals need paying for. People need their lives rebuilt. I dont like Oxfam and really don’t like the Red Cross but I dont disagree with foreign aid and I think they do deserve as much help as we can give them but these donations are for these particular people. There are victims there and in the places open for them but she’s right – where are the rest of them? So many donations are rushing in that non-organizational based volunteers are being kept away from the frontlines. They’re frustrated and hurt. Put them to good use, they need to know they’re helping.

Urgent advice and support for victims, their friends and families

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/grenfell-tower-fire-june-2017-support-for-people-affected

Residents who are displaced due to the fire please call the Kensington and Chelsea Council housing line on 020 7361 3008.

The Westway Sports Centre, Crowthorne Road, W10 6RP, is now the Family and Friends Reception and is being staffed by the police.

Any family and friends concerned about their loved ones please contact the Casualty Bureau on 0800 0961 233.

If someone was reported as missing and has been found safe, please call the Casualty Bureau with an update.

The NHS encourages Londoners to use NHS services wisely and seek advice from NHS 111 in the first instance.

Benefit enquiry line

The Government has set up a dedicated benefit enquiry line for people affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower. The following numbers will be manned between 8am and 6.30pm, Monday to Friday:

020 7941 6661
020 7941 6634
020 7941 6671

Banks offering help

The banking industry is ready to help people who have lost their homes in the fire at Grenfell Tower who have also lost all access to their bank cards, accounts and ID documents. Banks have been contacting customers to provide assistance and arrange emergency access to funds.

Find out more information about what the banks are offering, with appropriate helpline numbers.

If you are a foreign national

Foreign nationals in the UK affected by this incident may wish to contact their embassy, high commission or consulate, which may also be able to provide information or assistance.

Pet support

Anyone affected by the fire in London and needing temporary accommodation for their dogs or cats please contact Battersea Dogs and Cats Home on 020 7627 9217.

If your pet needs treatment or fostering, Blue Cross animal hospitals could be able to help. Call 0300 777 1890 for Victoria (central London), 0300 777 1800 for Hammersmith (west London) or 0300 777 1810 for Merton (south London).

Physical injuries

Hospitals across London have been treating those injured. If you are experiencing or are concerned about physical problems, seek advice and help from one of the range of NHS services available.

Air quality and smoke exposure

People who have been close to the scene and exposed to smoke from the fire may have experienced irritation to the lining of their air passages, their skin and their eyes, and respiratory systems including coughing and wheezing, breathlessness, phlegm production and chest pain.

People who have concerns about their symptoms should seek medical advice or call NHS 111.

Mental health support

If you are affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, either directly or indirectly, and in need of mental health support or psychological therapy you can call a dedicated NHS response service number where you can get access to mental health support services as well as information and advice 24 hours a day.

The number to call is 0800 0234 650 or email cnw-tr.spa@nhs.net.

If you are worried about your mental health as a result of this event please see this NHS trauma leaflet (PDF, 50.2KB, 2 pages) It outlines common reactions, simple suggestions for how to cope and ways in which children may be supported to cope during the next few days.

Many symptoms may be a normal response to a terrible experience and will reduce over time. If your symptoms are severe and you are in distress or they last longer than 4 weeks, this may indicate the need for support from a mental health professional. The information on the NHS Choices website will outline possible symptoms and describe how to seek help. Please visit your GP who will be able to provide advice and refer you on to the appropriate local NHS mental health service for assessment and treatment.

If you are under 18, or concerned about someone who is under 18, please look on NHS Choices for your local children and young people’s mental health service. Children and young people may also access NHS help by visiting their GP, and schools may be able to provide support or refer them to local services.

Bereavement Support

Cruse Bereavement Care is a national charity for bereaved people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Cruse offers support to adults, young people and children when someone dies, whatever the circumstances. They offer face-to-face, telephone, email and website support.

Their free phone helpline is 0808 808 1677 and is open Monday to Friday 9:30am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays), with extended hours to 8pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. You can also email them on helpline@cruse.org.uk. More information on all their services is available at http://www.cruse.org.uk.

How you can help

Volunteer

If you would like to volunteer to help with the support effort being co-ordinated by Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council please register your interest by emailing grenfellvolunteers@rbkc.gov.uk including your name, contact number and availability.

Donate

The Charity Commission has issued advice for anyone donating to those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire to ensure that their donations go to legitimate charities.

The Kensington and Chelsea Foundation has launched a Grenfell Tower appeal for funding, with support from London Funders and the London Emergency Trust Fund. Details of the appeal and how the public can support it can be found on their website.

Wow the Tories Can’t Do Anything Right

EDIT – Update 16/06/27 9pm:

Call for info for Grenfell Tower Survivors findingneelo

Call for info for Grenfell Tower Survivors

Grenfell Tower Donations and Drop Off Points

Grenfell Tower Donations and Drop Off Points

I don’t support one party over another or play them off against each other because ultimately the direction of the country doesn’t change. However with everybody looking at the tragedy that is Grenfell Tower in the richest borough of London, Kensington and Chelsea, and how they treat their poor people – a number of dangerously embarrassing factors have been unearthed.

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http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/eight-failures-that-left-people-of-grenfell-tower-at-mercy-of-the-inferno/ar-BBCKiw9

Eight failures that left people of Grenfell Tower at mercy of the inferno

A litany of failings in building regulation and safety rules have left residents in tower blocks vulnerable for decades. Despite constant warnings from fire experts, nothing was done to improve fire-proofing standards, or even review the current situation. Here are the eight times that the victims of Grenfell Tower were let down.

A change in the law

Until 1986 all buildings in London fell under the London Building Acts which ensured that external walls must have at least one hour of fire resistance to prevent flames from spreading between flats or entering inside.

But under Margaret Thatcher’s government, those rules were replaced by the National Buildings Regulations and the crucial time stipulation was scrapped.

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017. © Toby Melville/Reuters Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017.

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017. © Toby Melville/Reuters Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017.

Instead, materials used on the outside of buildings now only had to meet ‘Class O’ regulations and show that they did not add to the heat or intensity of a fire. But crucially they did not have to be non-combustible.

For the past three decades fire safety experts have warned that the ‘Class O’ designation was based on small-scale tests conducted in laboratory conditions and did not properly evaluate cladding in a live fire.

A recent London Fire Brigade investigation into the fire at a tower block fire at Shepherd Court in West London in August 2016 found that external cladding had helped the fire to spread. [My Comment: Yet in the same year Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation went ahead and used known high risk cladding on the partial refurb of Grenfell Tower and used Aluminium instead of Zinc because Aluminium doesn’t spark/ignite when its melting point (lower than Zinc’s) is reached, however that is undermined when coupled with flammable panel parts and insulation.]

They found that when exposed to high flames the metal sheet of the cladding had melted away, setting the inner polystyrene foam on fire and allowing ‘flaming droplets’ to fall onto lower floors while helping flames to spread higher up. Fire chiefs wrote to every council in London to warn them of the dangers but no action was taken.

Dangerous cladding

A leading fire safety expert warned Government advisors three years ago that a tragedy like the Grenfell Tower inferno would happen unless they changed rules to ban cheap, flammable insulation used on the outside of buildings.

Arnold Turling said the Grenfell blaze was “entirely avoidable” and that a gap between the panels acted as a ‘wind tunnel’, fanning the flames, and allowing the fire to spread to upper levels.

Mr Turling, a member of the Association of Specialist Fire Protection, said: “Any burning material falls down the gaps and the fire spreads up very rapidly – it acts as its own chimney.”

Three years ago Mr Tarling, a chartered surveyor, addressed the British Standards Institute’s seventh annual fire conference in London, at which government fire safety advisor Brian Martin was present.

“I said we will have this type of cladding fire in this country and it will lead to large numbers of deaths,” he said.

Following the Shepherd Court fire, insurer RSA wrote a report warning that flammable material in insulation panels “melts and ignites relatively easily”, and can cause “extremely rapid fire spread and the release of large volumes of toxic smoke”.

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017. © Toby Melville/Reuters Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017.

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017. © Toby Melville/Reuters Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017.

They concluded: “This allows extensive and violent fire to spread, and makes fire fighting almost impossible.”

Architect and fire safety expert Sam Webb said there was a “conflict” between fire safety and the materials that are used to make buildings more energy efficient.

However Harley Curtain Wall Ltd said that it had installed cladding, with polyisocyanurate inside, a material which is better than most at resisting fire in tests.

No government review

After six people died in the Lakanal House fire in south London in 2009, the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group called for a major government review of building regulations.

They argued that 4,000 tower blocks across London were at risk because of a lack of fire risk assessments, and panels on the outside walls not providing the necessary fire resistance.

The coroner on the Lakanal House inquest also recommended the government simplify regulations relating to fire safety so they were easier for landlords to understand.

In 2013, then communities secretary Eric Pickles responded to the coroner’s recommendations and promised a review with an updated version of building regulations published in 2016/17.

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham) © Matt Dunham/ASSOCIATED PRESS/AP Images Smoke rises from a building on fire in London, Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Metropolitan Police in London say they're continuing to evacuate people from a massive apartment fire in west London…

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham) © Matt Dunham/ASSOCIATED PRESS/AP Images Smoke rises from a building on fire in London, Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Metropolitan Police in London say they’re continuing to evacuate people from a massive apartment fire in west London…

However, four years on and no review has been completed despite assurances from former housing minister Gavin Barwell, who is now Theresa May’s chief of staff. [My Comment: strip him of his titles and find out WHY he’s been stalling such essential review.]

A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government said the work is “ongoing” and would not give a date for when the updated regulations will be published.

A single staircase

Residents in Grenfell Tower made repeated warnings that a single staircase was their only means of escaping the building.

© PA

Despite safety concerns of experts, tower blocks in Britain still only have to have one staircase, leaving Britain out of step with other countries in the world.

Russ Timpson, of the Tall Buildings Fire Safety Network, said his “foreign colleagues are staggered” that there is no requirement for a second staircase as he called on the Government to look again at fire safety regulations.

Residents fleeing in Tuesday night’s blaze complained that stairways were blocked, full of smoke and had no sprinkler systems fitted. Firefighters also struggled to get to the upper levels.

Fire rips through Grenfell Tower in London. © AFP/Getty Images

Fire rips through Grenfell Tower in London. © AFP/Getty Images

Fire rips through Grenfell Tower in London. Ronnie King, secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Fire Safety & Rescue Group, said: “The staircase should have been protected route for firefighters and people escaping but it was clear that it wasn’t.”

The flats had recently been refitted and fire experts warned that gaps in the walls where new pipes were installed could have allowed flames and smoke to spread quickly through the communal areas.

Missing sprinklers

There was no central sprinkler system at Glenfell which members of the Fire Protection Association said would have “undoubtedly” saved lives.

MPs from All-Party Parliamentary Group Fire Safety & Rescue Group also said that MPs had been calling for sprinklers to be fitted on the outside of tall buildings for years, but said their calls been ignored.

Currently, sprinklers only need to be fitted up to 30 metres, but in tall buildings like Grenfell it is impossible for fire hoses to reach the upper heights, leaving the top floors without any protection.

The Fire Protection Association said more sprinklers would “undoubtedly” have saved lives.

“Whether they’d have stopped that fire spreading at the speed it did up the outside of that building is another matter,” Jon O’Neill of the FPA said.

“But to have had sprinklers in that building would have created an environment where it would have been easier to rescue people and increase survivability.”

However in 2014 housing minister Brandon Lewis stopped short of forcing building developers to fit sprinklers, over fears it could discourage house building. [My Comment: He was Minister of State for Housing and Planning 2014–2016, Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Services 2016–2017 and is currently Conservative Member of Parliament
for Great Yarmouth
2010–present Minister of State for Immigration 2017–present. Wow this guy is given too much credit given his deplorable track record, strip him of his titles and investigate WHY he made such a shitty decision. If Sprinklers or any feature was made a normal part of building procedure costs would go down and wouldn’t discourage building especially since the government has to contract for ‘affordable housing’ in a country where there’s already tons of property sitting empty because its too expensive or used for holiday rentals, also too expensive.]

He said at Westminster Hall Debate: “The cost of fitting a fire sprinkler system may affect house building – something we want to encourage.”

Missing fire doors

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017. © Toby Melville/Reuters Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017.

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017. © Toby Melville/Reuters Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017.

London Fire Brigade said claims that doors were not fire-proofed would form part of its ongoing inquiry.

Two separate sources have told The Telegraph that not all the front doors in the tower block were fire-proofed. Official fire brigade advice to stay put in the event of a fire is based on fire doors offering protection to residents told not to leave the building.

Fire doors are designed to stop the fire spreading rapidly through the building rather than being “compartmentalised”.

'It's like something out of a horror movie' - London fire eyewitness © Provided by Reuters 'It's like something out of a horror movie'

‘It’s like something out of a horror movie’ – London fire eyewitness © Provided by Reuters ‘It’s like something out of a horror movie’

Regulations state that all tower blocks being built must have fire doors on the flat, the stairwell and the riser doors, which give access to the pipes.

Building regulations are not retrospective, so cannot force the installation of modern equipment on old buildings.

However, Richard Brownlee, Managing Director of Surrey Fire and Safety Ltd, said that it would be expected that fire doors were installed as part of any refurbishment and installation would be recommended as part of any refurbishment.

Inspections

According to information released by Kensington and Chelsea Council under the Freedom of Information Act, the last time that Grenfell Tower was subject to a full Fire Risk Assessment was December 2015.

There is a requirement for every building to have regular fire risk assessments, but the regulations do not specify how frequently this should take place. Industry experts say that best practice is every 12 months.

It is also a requirement to have a fire risk assessment carried out if there is a “material change” to the building. The regulations do not specify how soon that inspection must take place.

The refurbishment to Grenfell Tower was completed in May 2016 and yet it does not appear that any safety checks were carried out, even though the new cladding work consisted of ‘material change.’ The council did not respond to a request for comment.

Firebreaks

Fires on outside of cladded buildings should have been controlled by firebreaks – gaps in the external envelope to prevent the continual burning of material.

Under Building Regulations 1991, developers are warned that they must install systems to prevent flames from leaping from floor to floor.

However the Fire Brigades Union and the Loss Prevention Council and the Buildings Research Establishment have frequently warned that guidance is not adequate in the event of a fire.

And fire safety experts said it was unlikely that firebreaks would have stopped the conflagration at Grenfell.

Dr Stuart Smith, a building surveying and fire safety lecturer at Sheffield Hallam university, said: “The rate at which the building was burning suggests that even if the fire breaks were there, they didn’t work.

“Once the fire had got into the cladding, the rate at which that burns, I’m not sure fire breaks would work anyway.”

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

So from the Conservative point of view – We had Margaret Thatcher put people in danger, we had Gavin Barwell stall repeatedly recommended review of Fire Safety Regulations, Brandon Lewis then neglected to make adding sprinklers into law and on the very day of forewarned disaster (feared by experts and felt by tenants (who’d also been threatened to take their blog with complaints offline)) Theresa May gave scripted sounding responses, turned up for a ‘private’ meeting with emergency staff whilst ignoring all the victims present… Right after an epic election fail. Pathetic.

The Iron Bitch Margaret Thatcher

—————————————————-

Gavin Barwell

Brandon Lewis

The opposite of Tony B.Liar – Theresa May is a Conservative who loves the colour Red

———————————————————————————————-

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/shameless-tory-council-leader-blames-grenfell-tower-block-residents-for-lack-of-sprinklers-claiming-they-didnt-want-disruption/ar-BBCK0uN

Shameless Tory council leader blames Grenfell Tower block residents for lack of sprinklers claiming they didn’t want ‘disruption’

A shameless Tory has blamed Grenfell Tower block residents for the lack of sprinklers in the building.

Nick Paget-Brown, the Conservative leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, claimed tenants didn’t want the ‘disruption’ of them being fitted.

Conservative, Leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council

Conservative, Leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council

Experts have suggested that sprinklers could have been fitted in the 24-storey building for just £200,000 during the £10 million refurbishment.

Asked if installing sprinklers was considered as part of the refurbishment, Mr Paget-Brown said the advice was that the best way to combat the spread of a fire was to contain it.

He told BBC2’s Newsnight: “There was not a collective view that all the flats should be fitted with sprinklers because that would have delayed and made the refurbishment of the block more disruptive.” [My Comment – no but at least the stairway (and corridors) where some idiot decided to put gas pipes and no backup in case of fire.]

“We are now talking retrospectively after the most enormous tragedy, but many residents felt that we needed to get on with the installation of new hot water systems, new boilers and that trying to retrofit more would delay the building and that sprinklers aren’t the answer.”

He added:”I didn’t consider retrofitting sprinklers because we were told that what you try to do when you are refurbishing is to contain a fire within a particular flat so that the fire service can evacuate that flat, deal with the fire.”

But he said: “Of course I regret anything that we might have done differently that would have avoided this tragedy.”

The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association has put the cost of installing a sprinkler system at £200,000.

Mr Paget-Brown was unable to say how many tower blocks in his borough lacked sprinkler systems.

Amid speculation that the cladding fitted to Grenfell Tower could have been a factor in the fatal blaze, Mr Paget-Brown said no other refurbishments in the borough would use the system.

“As far as I know there are no other towers with that cladding,” he said. [My Comment: And how many others didn’t have risk assessments, a fundamental part of planning.]

Asked if the borough would use similar components on towers in the future, he said: “No.”

He added: “We have asked the London Fire Brigade to look at all our towers and give us a report on whether fire safety in all of the towers – because we are very conscious residents are worried about this – whether they can give us the assurance that we need that all of those towers are safe and that they comply with fire standards, fire regulations.” [My Comment: And their advice has been ignored for years by the Conservatives. ‘Shameless’ doesn’t even begin to describe…]

—————————————————————————————————————————————————-

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/fire-resistant-grenfell-tower-cladding-would-have-cost-just-%C2%A35000-more-than-flammable/ar-BBCJYO0

Fire-resistant Grenfell Tower cladding would have cost just £5,000 more than flammable

It would have cost just £5,000 to use fire-resistant cladding on Grenfell Tower, it emerged last night.

Hundreds of aluminium panels are thought to have been fitted to the outside of the tower by Harley Facades, a small family firm subcontracted as part of that refurbishment.

US-based Reynobond makes three types of panel: one with a flammable plastic core and two with fire-resistant cores.

Last night investigators were probing whether the cheaper and more combustible, versions were used by the contractors.

Reynobond’s fire-resistant panel sells for £24 per square metre— £2 more expensive than the standard version.

Estimates suggest that the cost of using the more expensive version would have cost about £5000.

A salesman for US-based Reynobond told The Times that this version, which has a polyethylene core and is known as PE, was banned in American buildings taller than 40 feet (12.2 metres) for fire safety reasons.

He said:“It’s because of the fire and smoke spread. The FR [variant] is fire-resistant. The PE is just plastic.”

The PE version is used for small commercial buildings and petrol stations, he said, rather than for tower blocks or critical buildings such as hospitals.

The PE panels which conform to UK standards but are rated as “flammable” in Germany, putting them in the same category as “unprotected wood with a thickness of no more than 12mm”.

———————————————————————————————————————————————–

So £2 a head is what the average human being at Grenfell Tower was worth in terms of standard spending and ‘premium’ spending/materials, the difference between life and death or a ‘decent’ and a mentally/physically crippled one. Nice (sarcasm). I thought people were worth much less to decision makers.

Only was used 8.7mil in the 2016 partial refurbishment – that’s all they could be bothered to do and for what purpose was the cladding? To maintain property prices in the most expensive borough in London, to make the building look prettier not to make it more livable. It was likely better off before with the original ‘exposed’ and ‘ugly’ inflammable building materials. This event was preventable and shouldn’t have happened, period. I doubt calls for corporate manslaughter will go far but they should. The risks were known, there were examples worldwide including in the UK, Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) ignored concerns/recommendations from the fire service and tenants, a different to norm metal was used for the cladding, there wasn’t a proper central fire alarm system, the resident association were threatened, the same building method reportedly used on other buildings in their portfolio etc etc etc they’re being cheap and reckless and they know it. They killed, maimed people and animals, made them homeless, put fear into the hearts of people all over in similar conditions -its corporate manslaughter at the very least not [just] building code violations/technicalities with possible fines. Damage control is cheaper than prevention which is why shoddy work like this is done, even in places like uber affluent Dubai who also don’t care about human rights. Tower blocks from the 70s should’ve been demolished not ‘refurbed’ and tenants temporarily re-homed in the process with guaranteed places in the new developments.

This is what happens when they take the cheap route, even ‘not-for-profit’ organizations. What I also hate is there is tons of property in London, tons of it sitting empty because they’re too expensive. We all keep looking for ‘affordable housing’ renting, buying or shared ownership. It’s not a lack of property, its the packing of people into cramped spaces so that buy-to-let landlords can make money. Rents are too high and overall prices far above labour, materials and margins. A ton of property in London and most people dont have access to it and never will let alone buy it. Most people are forced into the rent trap where they’re spending most of their income on rent which doesn’t get them much more than a shelter over their heads especially if you’re living in low standard housing and you can be kicked out at any point with many being ineligible for emergency housing and possibly social housing and innumerable private landlords refuse housing benefit claimants or any ‘benefit’ claimants, people with pets and even people with children instead wanting ‘professionals’ and ‘professional couples’ – what about maternity and paternity leave? Do they have to move out if they’re going to have children? Not to mention that many can’t make decorative let alone structural changes to their residence – say goodbye to the pencil marks/height charts on the walls of your ‘home where you grew up’ (as opposed ‘temporary shelter’) people, sad. We’re not hiring and housing robots, these are people – they eat, sleep, get ill, have children, have family issues, need holiday/rest, change over time, retire – yet governing bodies, insurance firms and mortgage lenders act like they should be automatons. Coupled with a lack of council properties and councils having to look to housing associations and private landlords, what are people supposed to do?! Even professionals have a hard time with teachers being the latest upset in the ever ongoing housing crises, ironic given the previous drive for affordable housing for them. Housing plus travel and household costs means you’re broke and/or in debt, you can barely keep up with the mounting bills. People in the 80s and prior did well when they bought their properties ‘cheap’ for approx £10-40,000, many could pay it off in less than a lifetime mortgage (currently 40 years, previously 25 years) AND on wages that were ok for the time instead of stagnant like they have been for ages against rising prices for everything else. Those people are safe, everyone who came later who isnt rich (and not being ‘successful’ and/or rich doesn’t equate to being lazy, unintelligent or untalented – it just means not as lucky or well connected in order to show off the hard work and be rewarded [fairly or unfairly] for it) are in crises.

A lack of proper precautions and care leads to people having to resort to desperate measures like this:

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http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/quick-thinking-mum-saves-her-family-in-grenfell-tower-blaze-by-running-a-bath-and-flooding-their-flat/ar-BBCJRqR

Quick-thinking mum saves her family in Grenfell Tower blaze by running a bath and flooding their flat

A brave mum saved her family as they were trapped in the Grenfell Tower inferno – by running a bath and flooding her entire flat.

Natasha Elcock was trapped along with her boyfriend and her six-year-old daughter in their 11th floor home when the blaze ripped through the building.

The family had followed instructions to stay in the flat if a fire broke out, but after 90 minutes fire crews told her to flee the flat.

Natasha explained the front door was too hot to touch and when it started to buckle and the windows began to bubble, the John Lewis worker knew she had to take drastic action.

The 38-year-old mum, who has lived in the tower block for 20 years, turned on her taps and flooded the bathroom.

She told the Daily Star : “I let the bathroom flood. It kept the flat damp and it may have saved our lives.”

Natasha kept her daughter on the wet floor and made sure her family stayed in the coldest room.

Firefighters eventually reached the stricken family at 3am and led them to safety.

The death toll after the tragedy has now risen to 17 and fire bosses have warned the number of people killed could be more than 100.

There are still 17 people fighting for their lives in hospital, with dozens more injured, including nine firefighters.

Other acts of extreme bravery have been reported during the desperate escape from the flames.

Hero dad Marcio Gomes had fled the burning building holding onto his 12-year-old daughter.

Grenfell Tower Tribute Wall

Pic Credit: Getty.

But in the confusion the pair were separated. The 38-year-old raced back into the flames to carry his daughter to safety.

And 16-year-old Ines Alves fled the tower block carrying only her mobile phone and GCSE revision notes before heading into school to sit her chemistry exam.
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Respect to those people. It’s not easy to keep your wits about you in such extreme circumstances let alone people who’ve lived in survival mode for months and years e.g. living in class categorized ‘poverty’ (not necessarily squalor, there is such a thing as the ‘proud poor’ whose floors you could metaphorically ‘eat your dinner off’) and under the breadline. Adrenaline and fear are helpful in temporary emergencies for adequate to lifesaving fight or flight, escape or evade instinct but that refers to minutes and hours – after years of depressing situation and conflict/frustration your conditioned behaviours can get in the way because you’ve been numbed/blunted.

The turnout has been amazing, people have really come together to support the victims it’s just a shame that it takes something like this to see community spirit of this level – a level that can get something done, a level that if we were all working for consistently there wouldn’t be a small number of people causing like these events in the first place or exacerbating their chances. The death toll as I write this stands at approx 17-30 but that is really downplaying the estimated figure; as per eye witness accounts the emergency services have left dead bodies in clear body bags on the lower floors of the building shell for all to see instead of immediate removal to morgues etc, some bodies will unlikely be found, others charred beyond recognition and in a 120 flat block with numerous bedrooms, residents, pets and guests a full body count is difficult and probably weeks away. Reports can’t even agree as to whether the tower had 24 or 27 storeys, a relatively simple thing you’d think but then it was part of a 3 building complex, apparently the last one in the regeneration and the ‘ghetto’ one. In my opinion it should have been demolished and residents moved until new accommodation was made and given guaranteed places in that new development. However if the site is to be used for commercial property residents should have been paid out and/or given better accommodation nearby. Instead they got a shoddy, cheap refurb and then lost almost everything in a fire that was supposedly caused by a fridge. In any other building that wouldn’t have happened, your fridge might somehow develop a fault that would somehow cause it to explode… Really? And then 24-27 storeys would go up in flames in less than 2 hours with half the side up in flames than less than one and by the end of it the whole building is a carcass… No. The original and perhaps a few surrounding flats would go at the most and people and pets/service animals should be evacuated not left to jump our of windows, throw babies out of windows ten storeys up and hope someone (not even a firefighter) would catch it, wave out of a window and get rescued 10 hours later, flood their flats etc. I’m really hoping the land doesn’t end up in commercial hands after this, that would be such an evil mockery. We have ‘tent cities’/refugee style camps in the UK, in London for god-sake – on top of our already increasingly homeless population – who’d have thought that would happen? One of the most expensive cities in the world where we moan about immigration, refugees and asylum seekers all the time whilst the poorest countries in the world take the bulk and then look we do it to our own. Nice. Not.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/uk-news/lily-allen-grenfell-tower-interview-13193449 [My Comment – Go Lily, some great quotes there and the article has poignant commentary on Theresa May’s ridiculous behaviour and address towards people:]

“I feel like the government are trying to micromanage people’s grieving here.”

“I have never in my entire life seen an event like this were the death count has been downplayed by the mainstream media.

“Seventeen? I’m sorry but I am hearing from people the figure is much closer to 150 – and that many of those people are children.

“They are off-the-record numbers I have been given from policemen and from firemen.”

“The humanitarian effort on the ground here, the volunteering, which is being led by community leaders and volunteers, it is not being led by the council, it’s being run by the people of this community,” she said.

“It is chaotic, they don’t have any experience of it and I think it’s actually playing into the hands of the Government because once these people’s hope turns to anger, they have got a real problem on their hands.

She said there was no attempt from the council to bind the rich and poor residents in the borough, home to council flats among some of the most expensive properties in the world.

She said the council had instead driven them apart – by closing community centres and pubs in favour of posher versions.

[My Comment – That’s exactly what I was wondering; where are all the millionaires, multi-millionaires and billionaires (oh wait they’re sitting on and funding boards and sponsoring/lobbying legislation that causes things like this) though I did see Adele in pictures yesterday and the royals just had to do their PR stint today but then unlike Theresa May they have plenty of practise winning over people after Diana’s fiery death/sacrifice, Charles’ indiscretion although it was an arranged marriage in part to produce acceptable heirs, remarriage, Harry’s behaviour growing up, William’s baldness/loss of his mother’s looks and bobble headed super glued smile wife and their offspring – people who will never ever and have never ever had to worry about such things but show up at every letter opening to prove their in touch with the people and know how they feel whilst really being as detached as possible and the biggest ‘welfare spongers’ on the planet whilst making money and resources left, right and centre. They even braved the ash/smoke to get their practised facial expressions in and ruin their luxury designer clothing. As some people have been saying – there’s plenty of space in Buckingham Palace or any of the Royal/Public funded/paid to visit households.]

Prime Minister Theresa May had earlier faced criticism for failing to meet survivors when she visited the scene of the blaze.

Mrs May met police and firefighters dealing with the aftermath of the disaster during a private visit to the west London site, but unlike Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, she was not seen to speak to families and residents.

“She wanted an entirely controlled situation in which she didn’t use her humanity.

“The Prime Minister would have been shouted at by the residents, but she should have been willing to take that.”

In a message on Twitter, Ms [Harriet] Harman said: “Theresa May should have met Grenfell Fire residents. She should have been prepared to listen to them Not OK to speak at them via TV.”

It seems Ms May went for a ‘professional’ briefing, pep talk and a look at the victims only not to talk with them like a human being.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/grenfell-tower-death-toll-count-number-dead-lily-allen-media-a7792871.html

Lily Allen and Channel 4's Jon Snow

Lily Allen and Channel 4’s Jon Snow

Grenfell Tower: Lily Allen accuses the media of ‘downplaying’ death toll

Most publications have been reporting official death counts from the Met

On Twitter, she retweeted users saying: “Death toll of #grenfelltower being suppressed by UK MSM” and “when i was down there they said well into triple figures so is probably even more than 150.good on you for telling some truth”

One of the most devastating events in London’s recent history.

So I woke up this morning and was confronted with the news that there was a tower block in London’s Notting Hill on fire, a tower block people, a whole f*cking tower block. Thinking about it the whole day and how those hundreds of people were terrified in their homes; panicking, running (and apparently having been told to stay in their homes which does happen in quickly spreading fires) instead of or because they were unable to evacuate, trying to reach each other, being blocked from their loved ones and basically screaming in an inferno of hell. I know what it’s like to almost not wake up because of smoke but it’s nothing, a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y nothing compared to the heat, the fumes and the fear of this – one of the most horrifying incidents we’ve had in recent history. And it’s not even terrorism? See we can have people suffering and screaming for help in a monumental f*ckup of incompetence without involving the ‘bloody foreigners’. For gods-sake I can’t get the idea of these people’s pain out of my mind let alone what it must have been like for the people nearby seeing people cry out for assistance or trapped inside or having got out but knowing others were trapped inside being burned alive. What the hell is this – some kind of sacrifice? Is someone having a bubble? Where is their head? [Présenter sur] une plaque.

Poor people and animals being engulfed by flames – I’ve only seen fires of that extent in forest fires and in my nightmares (strange scenarios in dreams where it’s like you’re tested to see if you’d save people and it’s always ‘interesting’ to see who does – I always go back in to the surprise of some – and who doesn’t or who they’re willing to save).

Unknown dead and how many homeless?

An alleged exploding fridge? An exploding fridge people? What was it – a manufacturing fault or a bomb? Either way – it’s a f*cking fridge, those things are good at containment unless it was a big blast. Oh it would’ve been heavily damaged if not destroyed but burning down a whole tower block, even half? No.

12.45am in the morning – when everybody not away or on nightshift was asleep in their beds… Oh that is sick.

When emergency services – get that ’emergency’ services as in those who respond quick time not snail pace – arrive on scene, heck even before, they should be preparing to save lives not carry out the dead. 40+ fire engines (plus how many people, ambulances, police and others) and yet they were visiting a Tower of Babel, a building already [almost] falling to its ruin. In London with fire stations everywhere (even with the closures) and other support and emergency services everywhere – why are some saying they were slow and others reporting they were there in 6 minutes? Who was there in 6 minutes and how many? Tower blocks don’t go up in flames, each apartment acts as a cubicle, as a container – ok fire spreads quickly and hot air rises but it spreads through quickest possible routes e.g. open spaces with oxygen and wind such as stairs but this is a tower block, I doubt there were carpeted stairs and luxe wallpaper to help the fire on its way, stairways were more likely concrete tunnels/spirals. I had to snort at the irony of some thinking there would/should be sprinklers – as interesting or even wonderful an idea that is do you honestly think that kind of money would be spent on poor people? Even in regenerations? They only spent approx 8.7 million on this one (Grenfell Tower, a 1970s building refurbed by the landlord in 2016) for crying out loud.

General practice is to keep your doors [and windows if possible] shut and block draught spaces if you can’t evacuate and you’re blocked off. Basically you block it in its tracks.

Grenfell Tower London Latimer Road Notting Hill Fire Policy Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation

Grenfell Tower Fire Policy.
Pic credit: https://twitter.com/shadowwraiths

How did it get out of the flat? It shouldn’t have spread from flat to flat let alone floor to floor without being unattended in time. Where the f*ck were the fire extinguishers in the building for residents to use and automatic fire alarms let alone the plethora of smoke alarms in the building i.e. one per flat and possibly carbon monoxide alarms (if the building has gas supply), that should’ve have brought attention to neighbours and the fire service. Quickly. Some people reported seeing Blue flames, did it hit the boilers or gas pipes?

This wasn’t like a fire that was attended to properly, it’s worse than a demolition.

Did they have smart boilers which send information back to the boiler company? They have temperature controls – didn’t any detect an unusual amount of heat not caused by the boiler(s) and hence reaching whichever setting they were left on too quickly? An en masse in multiple flats?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grenfell_Tower_fire

The cause of the fire is not yet known, but many residents complained about poor fire safety and other problems with the building, which was managed by Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation, a company limited by guarantee,[5] on behalf of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The residents’ organisation, Grenfell Action Group, had repeatedly warned of major fire safety lapses since 2013, and also noted past fires and fire-related incidents in similar blocks managed by the same company, which they felt were related to poor fire safeguards and management company fire policies, one of which was a directive telling residents to stay in their flats in case of fire. The group warned in November 2016 that only a “catastrophic” fire would finally force the block’s management to treat fire precautions and maintenance of fire-related systems to a proper standard.[6]

Grenfell Action Group warnings

After the fire, the Grenfell Action Group complained that its years of complaints to warn the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC), who own the building, and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation who “supposedly manage all social housing in RBKC on the Council’s behalf” had been ignored, posting a message on its website:[21][22]

Regular readers of this blog will know that we have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in RBKC. ALL OUR WARNINGS FELL ON DEAF EARS and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time.

It was revealed that RBKC had threatened the Grenfell Action Group with legal action in 2013 in a bid to prevent the group criticising the council, claiming that such criticism amounted to “defamation and harassment”.[23]

http://www.smh.com.au/world/london-fire-people-screaming-trapped-in-grenfell-tower-inferno-20170614-gwqwv9.html

Safety concerns ignored: residents association

From Nick Miller: David Collins, of the Grenfell Tower residents association, has told the BBC their concerns about the safety of the building were ignored by the landlord organisation – a not-for-profit organisation at ‘arms length’ from the council called Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation – and by the council.
They had complained about “fire-safety concerns which were not investigated during the regeneration works”, Mr Collins said.

“(There were) concerns over locations of boilers, concerns about escape, concerns about fire-escape lighting, the list goes on.

“I spoke to councillors and they refused to investigate.”

More interesting information: http://heavy.com/news/2017/06/kctmo-grenfell-fire-action-group-kensington-chelsea-tenant-management-organization-cause/

According to London Ambulance and witness testimony air ambulances were used but what about helicopters for the fire itself? The Fire Brigade couldn’t reach the upper floors, so weren’t helicopters used to help put the fire out?

It spread so quickly I had to ask myself what the fuck? Aluminium cladding is one of the speculative answers and has been responsible for similar fires around the world. Grenfell Tower’s shell was made of Reyondbond/Reynolux panels. According to the maker’s website (Alcoa Corporation), the composition consists of two aluminium sheets fused onto a polyethylene (plastic) core and is painted aluminium. That answered my confusion about aluminium not being enough of or even a carrier for the fire. It needed something else not only to melt but to spread the fire so quickly; the plastic including the cladding provided fuel? Anything else? But also, in terms of speed that would imply the outer fire/heat/compounding heat beat the inside fire, so the outer walls were heating up fast and hence in a sense the fire was coming from the outside at the point (after the initial cause/blast)? Social media photos/videos from the beginning of the blaze to the full on fire have been helpful in illustrating that the fire shot up/vertically on the outside before spreading horizontally to the rest of the building. What about the internal building insulation? The walls, ceilings/floors and electrical insulation. Did any of that provide a buffer? If so will the public at any point see photos of the ‘average’ burned apartment to see where and how fire spread inside of them?

How close was the supposed start of the fire to the main doors of the building? This is one of the reasons why I hate tower blocks – they’re not just prime candidates for ‘sick building [and tenant] syndrome’ they pose multiple difficulties for evacuation especially the higher up you go and then who decides which tenants go where i.e. according to age, disability, mobility, children etc. Tower buildings seem to ask whether some tenants more disposable than others. The social housing sector seems to be of the opinion ‘pile ’em [residents] high and dense regardless of the eyesore they cause to the increasingly surrounding yuppie area(s)’ but it’s ok as long as its ‘standard’ i.e. ‘we [housing associations] all do it, know that we do and the councils know we do so you the little individual can’t complain (and if our colleagues jump off a cliff like lemmings we will do it too)’. ‘Good/best practice’ can be used as a blanket excuse for many consumer issues. Housing estates are bad enough but tower blocks are dangerous and both become disgusting in a short time without a lot of community love and respect, a rare thing.

Places of worship have been open for shelter/aid – well done, I hate those buildings that sit empty most of the time and on public money when they should be providing shelter and sanctuary, possibly food and clothing 24/7. When you’ve got homeless outside looking at you – closed for business, with entrance fees, mostly empty, hosting antique and clergy wealth in your face – you’re not a house of ‘god’ or faith, you’re a slap in the face. Non-religious buildings and streetside provisions have been donated and provided and are the only heartwarming thing about this disaster.

As more news comes in for this one I don’t want to hear any excuses, not by the fire service, the govt, the architects, landlord or anyone; this was a straight up fail.

It’s far too early to say but I hope nobody’s getting any ideas about prime real estate and a possible goldmine.

Latimer Road doesn’t have a good history neither does Notting Hill in general and now it’s been added to.

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/man-seen-waving-jumper-from-grenfell-window-is-rescued-after-being-trapped-in-burning-building-for-12-hours/ar-BBCFXqS?li=BBoPWjQ

A Lancaster West estate resident’s committee member said they are working with a missing list of “possibly hundreds” of residents – but that nobody who lived on the 21st residential floor or above survived.

The committee member, who did not want to be named, said: “I have been told that anyone past the 21st floor did not make it.

“The firefighters told them to stay where they were.

Public Responsibility

When shit happens, don’t do this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grenfell_Tower_fire

Social media misinformation

Reports that firefighters took two hours to respond were circulated on social media such as Twitter. In fact the first responders were on the scene within six minutes of the fire being reported. Firefighters were actively dealing with the fire, and several were injured despite their protective gear.[25]

There were genuine appeals for information about missing people on news media, Twitter, and Facebook,[26] but also fake appeals and other fake news on Twitter and Facebook. Photographs of people downloaded from the Internet (such as a Mexican journalist not associated with London) were posted with false “missing” reports. Unexplained rumours of 92 fatalities were circulating on 14 June.[27]

You undermine the entire f*cking process and genuine victims. You don’t want to be a boy who cried wolf in future either when you need help.

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Note: Casualty Bureau emergency line that has been advertised for people to find out about missing persons from the incident: 0800 0961 233

Stay informed:

As if people don’t have enough reason to commit suicide let alone death games and cults

Note: This has nothing to do with suicide in general, euthanasia or Russia. It’s about brain washing, mind control and power.

Postman behind online game where teenagers are made to kill themselves is arrested in Russia

  • Postman Ilya Sidorov confessed to seeking to coax members to kill themselves
  • Believed to be as many as 32 mainly underprivileged schoolchildren in his group
  • One girl completed a succession of ‘tasks’ set for her by the menacing postman 
  • Similar ‘Blue Whale’ groups have provoked fear among parents and teachers

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4588248/Postman-game-teens-kill-themselves.html

The man allegedly behind a new teenage online death group, similar to the ‘Blue Whale’ game, has been detained in Russia.

Postman Ilya Sidorov, 26, confessed to seeking to coax its members – believed to be as many as 32 mainly underprivileged schoolchildren – to commit suicide.

The sobbing Moscow resident told state investigators he developed an elaborate online game involving 50 tasks which culminated in the teenagers killing themselves.

He broke down as he was interrogated on his role in demanding that a schoolgirl should ‘jump under a metro train at a certain station’.

Sidorov was asked in a shocking video questioning: ‘What was the final task? How does the game end?’

He replied: ‘To commit suicide.’

Similar ‘Blue Whale’ groups have provoked acute fear among parents and teachers in Russia amid claims they have led to dozens of teenage suicides.

There have also been warnings in the UK and other Western countries that these online death groups – playing mind games with vulnerable teenagers – are spreading from Russia.

Another suicide game ‘administrator’ Philipp Budeikin, 21, is being held by the Russians on charges of inciting at least 16 schoolgirls to kill themselves by taking part in his social media ‘Blue Whale’ game.

Postman Ilya Sidorov, 26, confessed to seeking to coax its members – believed to be as many as 32 mainly underprivileged schoolchildren – to commit suicide

The sobbing Moscow resident told state investigators he developed an elaborate online game involving 50 tasks which culminated in the teenagers killing themselves

He is detained pending investigations until August.

Reports say Sidorov – described as a ‘humble postman’ was held on a rooftop in Moscow before police took him to Chelyabinsk region in the Urals, where he is accused of encouraging a 13 year old girl from the village of Yetkul to kill herself.

The girl completed a succession of ‘tasks’ set for her by the menacing postman.

These included drawing a blue whale on her arm, to cutting herself.

‘In May this year a 14-year-old girl from Chelyabinsk region was taken to hospital with slash wounds after attempting to commit suicide,’ said Russian Interior Ministry spokeswoman Colonel Irina Volk.

‘The underage girl was a member of a so-called death group in a social network.

‘She was completing a task assigned by administrator of the group.’

She said of Sidorov: ‘Five mobile phones, a tablet, and several SIM-cards were confiscated during the search.

‘The suspect clarified that he is the administrator of a so-called suicide group that had 32 members, all of them underage.

‘He assigned them tasks aimed at inuring themselves in order to incite suicide. The suspect has been detained and taken to Chelyabinsk.

‘Currently, the police continue search and investigation activity aimed at establishing additional cases of illegal activity of the detained.’

Other alleged cases involving Sidorov are being actively probed.

Tatiana Bespalova, acting head of the school attended by the 14 year old girl, said she ‘felt unwell’ in her class during a maths. She was rushed to hospital, and police were called.

They discovered that she was involved in the death group on a social network. She spent nights online, became secretive, tired, and became annoyed easily.

Her chats with Sidorov, who was nicknamed Ilya Spartak, were monitored by police after the girl’s foster mother Iraida Ryzhenkova reported him to police.

‘As far as I understood it, this was supposed to be the last day or her life,’ said the foster mother. Reports say he ‘fully admitted’ his guilt and faces up to five years in jail. The girl, who was not named, remains in hospital.

It is unclear if there is any connection between Sidorov and Budeikin.

Rosstat national statistics agency published data that 22,839 people committed suicide in 2016, down from 24,982 in 2015, without differentiating age groups.

The latest figure has more than halved from 2005 when there were 45,800 suicides.

What is the ‘Blue Whale’ suicide ?

The lethal game called ‘Blue Whale’ involves brainwashing vulnerable teenagers over a period of 50 days, urging them to complete tasks from watching horror movies to waking at strange hours, and self harming.

Eventually exhausted and confused, they are told to commit suicide.

In Britain, a school in Essex had made parents aware of the game following talks with police.

Police forces in Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire have urged parents to monitor their child’s social media.

Philipp Budeikin, 21, is the Russian man behind the sick Blue Whale ‘suicide game’ aimed at children

After Philipp Budeikin – who called his victims ‘biological waste’ – was detained, he received dozens of love letters from teenage girls at notorious Kresty jail in St Petersburg,

Two school girls Yulia Konstantinova, 15, and Veronika Volkova, 16, fell to their deaths in February this after it is believed they were involved in a ‘Blue Whale’ group.

Angelina Davydova, aged only 12, fell to her death from the 14th floor of a block in central Russia on Christmas Day 2015 after logging onto a user group called ‘Wake Me Up at 4.20’ which had more than a quarter of a million subscribers before it was blocked.

Diana Kuznetsova, 16, died after jumping from a nine storey building

Angelina Davydova, 12, fell to her death from the 14th floor of a block after taking part in Budeikin’s ‘Blue Whale’ game

In the weeks before she died, the girl became convinced she was overweight and ate only light salads. She died 50 days after joining the group.

Diana Kuznetsova, 16, died after jumping from a nine storey building in Ryazan.

Anna K, from Karsun, was found hanged to death in March after becoming obsessed with the sinister ‘Blue Whale’ game.

In December, Vilena Piven, 15, jumped from the 13th floor in Mariupol, Ukraine and died on the spot.

Vilena Piven, 15, jumped from the 13th floor in Mariupol

Anna K, from Karsun, was found hanged to death after taking part in Budeikin’s ‘Blue Whale’ game

Her classmates said that she was shy and had been seen as school with cuts on her arms.

She posted the view from the top floor of the building on her social network page and wrote: ‘The quest is over. There’s just one step to be made.’

Later she wrote: ‘I did not think that it would be so scary to jump. Just one step forward and everything is done. But this very step is so difficult to make.’

Before the jump, she wrote: ‘I’m scared, I’m afraid.’ Despite this, she jumped.

If you have any questions or concerns about suicide, visit the Samaritans website or call: 116 123

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I really hate it when victimizers cry, beg and plead in the end as if they have a right to feel sorry for themselves and for sympathy and ultimately for mercy. It’s like praying on your deathbed after a lifetime of cursing the thing you’re now praying to. No one heard the sobs or saw the tears of their victims. Perpetrators like these like their vulnerable to suffer in silence and alone whilst being dependent in some way on their abuser(s), they seek out those they think will make easy targets and zone in on them with focused harassment/manipulation until the target is suicidal, bordering on being sectioned or arrested; there’s almost no way out for them. Half the time I can’t even believe this happens to people for business and political reasons let alone for fun and cruelty, I’ve never been able to understand how someone can have such pure hatred and venom towards those they don’t know or even those who care for them (even when the feelings are engineered), no reason whatsoever other than the person is there and that is a temptation in itself. Begging to be hurt in the minds of these psychos. There’s nothing real to these people but pain and nothing more so real than their own, which they very much need to face, weaklings and cowards galore is all they are.