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Huge fire rips through London tower block

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41 minutes ago, XXL said:

 

She's right, and I'm really noticing more and more the appalling right wing media bias going on, especially since the election fair reporting restrictions were recently lifted, allowing things to go back to exactly how they were before (those restrictions helped Jeremy Corbyn immeasurably as the usual hack jobs weren't so obvious)

It is ridiculous how the media is institutionally incapable of reacting to the political spectrum shift going on. But people are seeing through it.

This guy has it spot on...

And here's a list of the Tory slug MPs (and landlords)who voted AGAINST a bill making homes FIT FOR HUMAN HABITATION last year...

DCV_D-GXkAARH_B.jpg

 

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3 hours ago, Kim said:

She's right, and I'm really noticing more and more the appalling right wing media bias going on, especially since the election fair reporting restrictions were recently lifted, allowing things to go back to exactly how they were before (those restrictions helped Jeremy Corbyn immeasurably as the usual hack jobs weren't so obvious)

It is ridiculous how the media is institutionally incapable of reacting to the political spectrum shift going on. But people are seeing through it.

This guy has it spot on...

And here's a list of the Tory slug MPs (and landlords)who voted AGAINST a bill making homes FIT FOR HUMAN HABITATION last year...

DCV_D-GXkAARH_B.jpg

 

 

Truly sickening :thumbsdown:

List of shame

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/16/have-whole-life-ahead-dont-want-die-final-call-italian-woman/


A young, talented Italian woman telephoned her mother to say her goodbyes as her flat was engulfed in the Grenfell Tower blaze.

Marco Gottardi and his girlfriend Gloria Trevisan, both architects from the Veneto region of northern Italy, are missing and feared dead by their families.

The two lived on the 23rd floor of the 24-story tower block which went up in flames.

After graduating with high marks in architecture, the couple had moved to London last March after Ms. Trevisan couldn't find work in Italy that paid more than 300 euros a month.

In London, Ms. Trevisan found a job that paid £1,800 a month and was happily embarking on her new career.

When the fire broke out, she immediately called her parents, who began recording all her subsequent calls.

“These are terrible, agonizing calls,” said Maria Cristina Sandri, the lawyer for Ms. Trevisan’s family, who said she cried as she listened to the audio files with the parents Thursday morning.

According to Italian media accounts, the 26-year-old architect first called in the evening telling her parents there was a fire on the third floor, but both she and her parents seemed certain that firefighters would have extinguished the fire before it got anywhere near her apartment on the 23rd floor.

At 2 a.m., she was more frantic. Gloria’s mother asked to speak with Ms. Trevisan’s boyfriend, Marco Gottardi, who tried to calm both his girlfriend and her parents. “The firefighters are here, everything is okay.”

When she called again about 3 a.m. in Italy, her parents had turned on the television in their home near Padua and had begun watching a live broadcast of tower in flames as they spoke with their daughter on the phone.

“We can’t get out, we are blocked,” Gloria said.

The last call came at 4:07 Italian time, as smoke was pouring into the apartment.

“I am so sorry I can never hug you again. I had my whole life ahead of me. It’s not fair. I don’t want to die. I wanted to help you, to thank you for all you did for me,” reported La Repubblica. “I am about to go to heaven, I will help you from there.”

"There's a lot of smoke but don't worry, we're waiting for the rescuers. We opened the front door but there was too much smoke to be able to leave. The lifts are blocked," Mr Gottardi had told his father, Giannino, at around 2am UK time.

Giannino Gottardi told the Italian press: "In the first call they told us to be calm, that everything was under control. But in the second call - and I cannot get this out of my head - he told me that there was smoke, that a lot of smoke was rising up.

"There's nothing more we can do than wait for a miracle," he said

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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.

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.

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.

 

It emerged last night that the United States had banned the type of cladding thought to have been used on Grenfell Tower. 

The material used on Grenfell Tower was sold under the brand Reynobond which comes in three different varieties: one with a flammable plastic core and two with fire-resistant cores and the cheaper, more combustible, version was banned in the United States in buildings taller than 40 feet. 

It is thought that Grenfell's exterior cladding, added in 2015, had a polyethylene - or plastic - core but conforms to UK standards.

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

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”.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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".

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.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/15/eight-failures-left-people-grenfell-tower-mercy-inferno/

 

Bad karma.... all those government people that throughout the decades neglected to ensure basic safety measures, because cheap and (not so) cheerful always needs to be the British hallmark. Always.

@XXL I am really sorry about Marco and Gloria's account... heartbreaking...

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I´m afraid most of the people are going to be dead...this is so sad

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I read so much stuff about it, what a nightmare! I still can't believe this really happened and innocent people's lives ended that way. In this day and age. 

The only thing I can take from this is to always leave the building if there's a way, no matter how far or 'under control' a fire is. If you can get out, get out. To think they told people to stay in their flats... 

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22 minutes ago, Lolo said:

I read so much stuff about it, what a nightmare! I still can't believe this really happened and innocent people's lives ended that way. In this day and age. 

The only thing I can take from this is to always leave the building if there's a way, no matter how far or 'under control' a fire is. If you can get out, get out. To think they told people to stay in their flats... 

It is a travesty that a simple fire alarms weren't installed in hall ways and these people complained about it for years! 

People have the right to be angry and get justice! 

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The Tories who did not care for the safety of other people are disgusting, greedy, heartless, self interested, corrupt and have extreme conflicts of interests.  All of those who voted against the bill making rental properties "fit for human habitation"  should hang their heads in shame.  The media led by billionaire scumbags such as Rupert Murdoch are equally to blame and it is good that people are finally seeing through the bullshit that they peddle to suit their own needs. The fact that so many innocent people had to die such a horrible death to demonstrate how heartless and corrupt they are is an absolute disgrace and unforgivable.   People should maintain their rage and not let them get away with this. 

 

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I just read that Cameron made the health and safety law less hard because it costed millions.  

Some politicians should be charged for the deaths. 

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Sad story tbh it could've been prevented 

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1 hour ago, pjcowley said:

 

It's not only the future of Tory Britain, it's the future of all capitalist societies. 

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apologies if the link has been posted before

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40298473

 

The police are not supposed to act as the state's puppets or protection. Police officers are meant to serve the public interest. It is a very well known fact that the police act as a tool for implementing oppression & systematic state violence towards those who raise their voices in protest. The police are not our friends. As a society we really need to get beyond this nonsensical romanticism about the police which is usually spoon fed to us by right-wing and centrist establishment types and media. The police are not infallible. They do not automatically deserve our respect and admiration. When they do good they deserve praise. When they do bad they deserve scrutiny and anger. 

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This drip feeding of the death toll is absolutely disgusting. Obviously scared of the reaction should the true numbers come out too soon.

 

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1 hour ago, BrendanT1993 said:

apologies if the link has been posted before

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40298473

 

The police are not supposed to act as the state's puppets or protection. Police officers are meant to serve the public interest. It is a very well known fact that the police act as a tool for implementing oppression & systematic state violence towards those who raise their voices in protest. The police are not our friends. As a society we really need to get beyond this nonsensical romanticism about the police which is usually spoon fed to us by right-wing and centrist establishment types and media. The police are not infallible. They do not automatically deserve our respect and admiration. When they do good they deserve praise. When they do bad they deserve scrutiny and anger. 

I don't blame the police for any of this. They are under-payed, under-staffed and put their lives at risk every day they go to work.  Always cop everyone's anger at the coal face and don't get to hide away like politicians, land lords or media tycoons.  They have to deal with violence and anger on a daily basis. 

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52 minutes ago, Kim said:

This drip feeding of the death toll is absolutely disgusting. Obviously scared of the reaction should the true numbers come out too soon.

 

 

wow, it really was hard to watch. 

The UK is crafting a missinformation politic way that is really so CRUEL. After the London attack, one Spanish family wanted to know if his "missing" son was among the victims. Nobody was answered. Only after the Spanish Goverment intervened they said that "yes, he is dead". But now they have to wait for MONTHS to get the body because they have to do an autopsy. WTF?? Months for a fucking autopsy? A family unable to bury their kid because of some obscure reason? 

After the 7J in London, it happened the same. I was holidaying in London and my hostal was just near Russell Square, so as soon as it happened. I got a call from my newspaper and all day I worked there, getting information as I could (it was 2004, no Internet in our mobile phones, blablabla). It was impossible to know the victims. The bombing in Madrid was just months before and that very day we roughtly knew that they were between 150 and 200. But London couldn't give a number which was higher than 3. Just in front of me that bus was open like a tincan and it was clear that far more people had died. The same in the underground. I'm sure that not British people know now exactly how many people died in that attack without looking in the Internet. 

About this fire... I sincerely hope that this sparks some fire among the people, because the situation there is getting worse and worse. And that it brings the revolution to the rest of Europe. 

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so we already know that there are 40 dead people in portugal, but they still say that there are 30 people dead in the tower? what´s happening with the UK?

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