Everything We Know About the London Fire Tragedy So Far
In the early hours of June 14, 2017, a fire broke out in a 24-storey apartment block in North Kensington, London, killing at least 12 and injuring many others. One day on, details are slowly emerging — here's everything we know so far.
- At 12:54 a.m. London time, a fire was reported at Grenfell Tower on the Lancaster West state in North Kensington.
- Early reports say the fire started on the second level, and quickly spread through all 22 floors on top of of it.
- The building was built in 1974 and had recently been renovated, in 2016. The renovation included the cladding of the entire exterior of the building, which residents have reportedly blamed for the speed at which the fire spread.
- The block contained 120 units consisting of one or two bedrooms, and it's believed there may have been up to 600 people inside at the time of the fire, though this has not been confirmed.
- Over 200 firefighters and 40 trucks were on the scene within minutes, but the fast-moving fire was quickly out of control.
- The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, though some have mentioned the explosion of an appliance could be the cause.
- Initial reports had the death toll sitting at six people; that number has now jumped up to 17. The number is expected to rise further.
- The first victim has been identified as Syrian refugee Mohammad al-Haj Ali, who was 23 years old and lived on the 14th floor of the building.
- The incident has brought to light a number of concerns residents had with the safety standards of the building. A lack of working fire alarms, evacuation procedures, lighting in emergency stairwells and escape routes are all said to have contributed to the catastrophic loss of life.
- The Grenfell Action Group has spoken out about their repeated requests for improved safety in the building, writing on their blog that their "warnings fell on deaf ears."