By now we should have a rough figure for the number of people who died in the Grenfell tower blaze. And yet we are left in the dark by the authorities [I feel I have to write about this despite the fact this is not a cat article].
I feel sure that the true and catastrophic death toll in the Grenfell tower block blaze is being withheld by the authorities. Lily Allen said that she has spoken with firefighters and the police and off the record, she said, they believe that the figure will be as many as 150. She is correct: the government is micromanaging this catastrophe. And have you heard the waffle and obscuration from the Police and Fire Minister, Nick Hurd in Parliament? It is awful.
The reason why I believe that the death toll will be much higher is because there are (a) many people looking for missing family members and (b) we have been repeatedly told that 400 to 600 people live in the block and (c) the fire was catastrophic and rapid (d) 37 are in hospital.
One issue that has come to light is that the authorities are not assisting people in finding missing family members. They’re treating the matter as a criminal terrorist attack rather than a civil matter and a disaster. This is ridiculous.
There are many people who are frantically searching for missing people and not being assisted or even obstructed. If at this stage people remain missing, I believe that we can make the presumption that they perished in the fire and are in the burnt out block of flats unless and until alternative information comes to light.
It is harsh to say that but it is common sense nonetheless. If a resident of the block of flats managed to escape they are not going to wander around London or somewhere else. They’re going to go to the authorities and go to their family members. They are going to remain in the community and therefore we would know that they have survived. It is foolhardy to think alternatively.
People want to know what is happened to their relatives. The authorities should do their best to answer their questions. Of course they don’t want to create further panic and upset. They don’t want to create unrest. But I believe that the authorities are suppressing what they believe are the true number of deaths because they are protecting their interests. Their interests are: stopping residents becoming too angry, protecting their position and their jobs, filtering through the numbers of deaths slowly to manage grief as Lily Allen says.
The authorities are disrespecting people and behaving defensively. There may even be a racist or apartheid element in the mix as most of the residents of the Grenfell tower block were immigrants. Mistakes have been made. Building regulations should have been updated years ago.
The current regulations apparently allow this sort of cladding to be fitted to tower blocks to improve their appearance (prettify the block for the benefit of the wealthy say some) and to help prevent heat loss thereby improving the block of flats from an environmental standpoint. But in doing so the blocks have become much less safe.
Many fire specialists have come to the same or similar conclusion namely that the cladding caused the fire to spread very quickly outside the building. This is the key aspect of this fire. And the cladding was in place because it’s was legally allowed to be there under inadequate building regulations. This is a government problem ultimately which is why they are suppressing figures.
The residents are becoming more and more angry. They need answers. A full list of missing people should be reported.
Update: people would have seen it in the press both online and in hard copies. Residents are very angry. They are seeking answers. They want a dialogue between themselves and government both local and national. They want someone to take charge. And they want to know what has happened to their relatives who are ‘missing’.
To my mind, missing relatives at this stage means relatives who have passed. They have perished in the fire. But somebody in authority needs to step up to the plate and start discussing these hard issues and providing answers to the public.
I am convinced that both local and national government is trying to downplay the tragedy in their own interests. For example, Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has ordered a public enquiry. These often take several years to come to a conclusion and by then people’s memories will have faded and government will be off the hook. Public enquiries are a way of knocking the problem into the long grass in my opinion.
It has come to light to that the fitting of flammable cladding may in fact be in breach of building regulations but initially I had thought otherwise. There are calls for a criminal investigation and prosecution. The police are involved.