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Tower block fire in London

LynneLynne Your TeacherHomePosts: 9,292 mod
April mentioned the fire in today's TTTH session, and I said "I know", because hubby had mentioned a fire this morning, but I had no idea just how bad it was.

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Comments

  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    Poor London is having a tough time. Over 200 firefighters were called to put the fire out at this tower block in Nottinghill Gate, west London. They were working all night last night to put the last of the fire out. Over a dozen have been identified as dead, but many more are still missing. There are 68 patients being treated in six hospitals, 18 are in critical care wards. Again, the London hospitals are having to rally to a large scale emergency.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/14/fire-24-storey-grenfell-tower-block-white-city-latimer-road-london?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=230673&subid=11006640&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

    A lot of questions are being asked as to how a fire like this could happen.
  • HermineHermine Moderator Posts: 6,026 mod
    Yesterday I followed the reportings of BBC on TV about this sad tragedy.

    What does ˋ stay putˋ mean? It was to read on a sign for rules. Iˋm not sure was it anyhwere dispayed in the 24-story building.

    @Lynne and @Marianne

    Thanks in advance.

    Our school has an emercency exit. It is a steal staircase behind the buildiing. Itˋs always open but itˋs closed for getting inside.

  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 9,292 mod
    I someone tells you to "stay put", it means don't move from this place.
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,517 ✭✭✭✭✭
    ' ...Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said legitimate questions had to be answered, including over the fire safety strategy for the building, which told residents to stay put inside their flat if a blaze broke out... '

    This is not just intolerable to read, it's completely disgusting: one tower block 70 metres high is burning and consuming in the twinkling of an eye, like a match, and all you have to say and advise about is ' stay put inside your flats ? '.
    This goes far beyond my grasp and tolerance.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    It is a big scandal @filauzio. It has overshadowed everything else in the news. I am sure there will be a lot of searching questions and I can only hope that if there are any other buildings like this, they will be fixed as soon as possible.
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,517 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just by thinking that among the main reasons, there might have been the fact that they haven't chosen fire-proof coating panels, besides, the cheapest quality ones, make my wrists tremble, @mheredge.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    I also wonder at fire escapes @filauzio. I'm not sure what they had in this building. I remember staying in a tenth floor apartment once and although there was a fire escape, it was always kept locked!
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,517 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I still can't put up with the way this terrible tragedy happened, @mheredge; I wonder what the safety measures in case of fire should have been though. I thought of fire escapes leading to a series of iron flights of stairs fixed on one of the outside wall; however, given the terrific blaze which kept wrapping and coiling inexorably, floor after floor, the tower, I'm afraid it would turn out of no use at all.
    I think they ought to have provided the tower with a inner fire-proof well, made of reinforced concrete, to be entered, at every floor, by means of fire-wall steel doors.
    This well should have been supplied with a fumes suction system too.
    In addition to this fire safety building, the tower block administration should have made sure that, at any floors, there were either a sprinkling plant, or a loudly ringing buzzer, this latter able to set off at the minimum accumulation of fumes.
    People leaving the flats at the alarm, then, would have rapidly made their way out, being led by phosphorescent signals indicating the exit path.

    Unfortunately, all this beautiful words, wherever the money isn't put out to turn them into facts, remain just ink on paper.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 382 ✭✭✭
    edited June 20
    > @filauzio said:

    > Unfortunately, all this beautiful words, wherever the money isn't put out to turn them into facts, remain just ink on paper.

    Fire inspectors and building comissions exist to change this. The building isn't old it should have complied with some fire safety regulations.

    When I was visiting London I lived in a hotel which would have never got a permission to operate here since its corridors were too narrow for two people to pass.

    Is there a kind of agency in England which approves blueprints before start and allows using of a newly completed house intended for public use?

    I heard the building belonged to a council, so some official made the decision to use flammable materials. It should be dealt as a felony.
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,517 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Practical_Severard wrote:

    ' ... I heard the building belonged to a council, so some official made the decision to use flammable materials. It should be dealt as a felony.'

    I heartily hope so; let's hope the documents proving the misdeed won't turn out even more susceptible of taking on fire than the covering panels though.

    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    edited June 24
    Local authorities all over the country are in big trouble @flair and have been running around checking that this won't happen again on their patch. Birmingham City Council has just spent over £32 million on installing sprinklers in some of their high roses, another omission in Grenfell.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/23/camden-to-evacuate-taplow-tower-over-fire-safety-fears-after-grenfell-disaster?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=232065&subid=11006640&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2
    5184.jpg?w=605&q=20&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&dpr=2&s=ef5aefdb4265856b1c600992158af6e0

    Post edited by mheredge on
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,517 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Always the same story after big tragedies though; the surroundings of the place, those which lie within earshot of the echoes vibrating with accuses and calls for justice, which promptly swarm with zealous council officials and councillors, boldly pretending they nothing else mostly care of, but the safety of their residents, on the one hand.
    On the other hand, shady, curved, mysterious people who try to keep hidden behind ever rising piles of papers, who have already unleashed their shameless lawyers, those who are expected to defend them regardless of any submitted evidence, on the basis of a password to be repeated incessantly, over and over: ' fatality ', which implies no responsabilities at all.
    I just would like sometimes there were a man who could say: ' I take the blame upon myself '.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 9,292 mod
    @filauzio - Or a woman. The fact is these flats were built years ago, over the years many small decisions have been made by committee. Even the decisions not to install sprinkler systems, or firedoors fit for purpose, and the choice of accepting lower bids using cheaper materials etc. It all probably seemed like a good austerity idea at the time. I'm just grateful I never sat on any of those committees.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    @filauzio around 20 families in one tower block are refusing to leave their homes, making it difficult for the local council to do the remedial work that is estimated to take a few weeks. These refuseniks are putting a spanner in the works to make the buildings safe for everyone else.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/25/camden-evacuation-refuseniks-urged-to-go-so-fire-safety-work-can-start

    And now controversial government proposals to relax fire safety standards for new school buildings as a cost-cutting measure are to be dropped by ministers in a major policy U-turn following the Grenfell Tower fire. This move is evidence of a dramatic change of approach across the government. Previously, deregulation and cost-cutting has been number one preoccupation rather than a safety-first approach. If nothing else can be said to have come out of the Grenfell tragedy, safety first at last seems to be getting the attention it deserves.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/24/government-u-turn-over-fire-safety-controls-for-new-schools
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 9,292 mod
    This is very moving:-

  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,517 ✭✭✭✭✭
    A burnt up 24 storeys tower's skeleton stands still there, as a perennial monument to our hypocrisy.
    ' If you want to see how the poor die... ' yes, this funeral elegy is very moving.

    Now I see that other tower blocks in London are being evacuated in the wake of Grenfell Tower blaze; the Councils' officials are in a hurry to secure these buildings are provided with the latest fire safe equipments; well, it means they aren't so far.
    I hope I'll be excused my cynicism in my obvious supposition here, but it means it took the Grenfell Tower casualty to push Councils to carry out what they already ought to have done in any cases.
    Then, a 24 storeys tall grave isn't enough height to throw disdain over them and their careless attitude; their hasty running to and fro pretending ' our first priority is citizens' safety ' is a bit untimely and rather borders on electorate endearing.
    Nevertheless, when it comes to fire safety, any refit or rithinking, however delayed it be, turns promply a sigh of relief.

    This is especially true with schools; I was astonished by reading this statement by the British Schools Minister, about sprinkler systems to be fitted in either existing or new schools.

    ' ... the additional spending would significantly outweigh the relatively modest saving from preventing some damage to school building ... '

    It's just repellent to hear somebody only think to monetize your fire safety; but when it comes to children, I think it's criminal; and quite offensive to one another intelligence even to linger to explain why.

    As for the ' refuseniks ', the tower blocks residents who, for differnt reasons, are recalcitrant to leave their flats, I can't but sympathize with them, but just to a little stretch.
    If, as they state, is just a matter of 2 to 3 weeks, I really can't grasp where the problem lies.
    You can put forward any possible reasons for distress, but, as long as you've got an agreeable accomodation where to spend these days, yet they are not your cosy flats, I suppose you should avoid making such a great fuss; after all you're being cared of and this is for your safety along with that of all residents.
    I'm sorry, I can't take agoraphobia as a good excuse if I'm going to accomodate you within four walls as you used to be.
    I can't but think here of so many people in my country still living in prefabricated houses, many years after earthquake broke out.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 9,292 mod
    Don't throw a wobbly, but ...

  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    edited June 30
    @filauzio 'it took the Grenfell Tower casualty to push Councils to carry out what they already ought to have done in any cases.' Unfortunately you're spot on with this statement.
    Post edited by mheredge on
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,517 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes, unfortunately it did @mheredge. I hope the justice won't blame just the workmen for any failure or omissions though, as it often happens in Italy, where persons in position of high responsability turn out invariably immaculate as cherubims.
    I was listening to a radio broadcast this evening about a tragedy which happened on an April evening in Livorno ( Tuscany Italy ) in 1991, when a ferry-boat, the ' Moby Prince ' while manoeuvring to leave the harbour, collided with a oil tanker.
    140 persons, only the next morning, were found burned to death. I read a book about that too.
    There were so many unresolved mysteries that night; among them: a vague mist which turned out being intermittent, at least in the controversial statements by the eye-witnesses; a number of US warships unloading their cargo of weapons for the nearby NATO base, but while anchored in forbidden areas and prohibited timing; unidentified supposed fishing-boats, more probably weapons traffickers owned ones, which, when the collision happened, instead of helping extinguishing the fire, switched off all the lights and fled the harbour bay; the admiral in charge of the port who, rather than coordinating the rescue operations, as it were his duty, ended up nowhere to be found, all night long, while 140 persons kept dying among the flames; etc.
    After a long trial, just one person was found guilty: he was the radar operator on the oil tanker, allegedly keeping the radar turned off.


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

    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    He was a handy scapegoat @filauzio.

    I read again about how poor the attitude of Kensington and Chelsea council is in the face of its negligence. They are afraid to talk to the press or victims, declaring they don't want to prejudice the enquiry that is opening soon. There's no excuse for cutting corners and compromising safety however. Everyone will be trying to point the finger at eachother. No one wants to accept responsibility for the tragedy. I think there are many guilty - parties from the manufacturer to the inspectors working for the council and everyone in between.
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,517 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I want to give you an example of how people in responsability for a disaster might behave in a very undignified manner, @mheredge.
    After a flood in my town, when the river run out of its bed and caused the death of six persons, including three children, the mayor and other council officials were found guilty.
    In the aftermath, a man who had lost his wife, approached the mayor and complained about the loss and the trouble he would have faced while having to confront his children with the sad reality.
    He was led by a naive attitude; he really thought to meet a comprehensive person who would meet his need of a few words of prompt comfort and relief.
    He relied on the noble attitude together with institutional correctness you would expect of those in charge of a town and its community of citizens.
    Well, in response to these words from the discouraged man, do you know what she ( the mayor ) limited to do ?
    She offered him a 3,000 euros cheque, and just to add insult to injury, an art book issued by the local bank institution; the kind of books such bank bodies distribute for free to their best clients, as it was probably the case with the mayor.
    Can you think of a more contemptuous and condescending behaviour ? It was the queen who gives audience to a vile subject.
    She, the mayor, never admitted her fault, which was demonstrated hers beyond any doubts; she never asked for pardon; she just kept repeating: ' I'll show my innocence '.
    Well, what kind of sentence do you think would better suit such a person whom I hardly consider a human being ?
    If there exist a God, a fair God, I hope He would take care of such a contemptible person, as well as of the people finally found responsible for the Grenfell Tower tragedy, whenever happened they keep hide themselves and search culprits elsewhere than into their own bad consciences.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    At least Kensington and Chelsea council have provided high quality alternative apartments to the displaced tenants but thd behaviour of the individuals concerned has been very shabby, like the mayoress you described @filauzio.
  • jackelliotjackelliot Posts: 700 OTT
    A scandal

    A tragedy

    corruption

    politicians
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