London Grenfell Tower disaster news

This video from England says about itself:

22 June 2017

[Labour party-led] Manchester Council has ordered the removal of dangerous and illegal cladding from residential buildings. As we can see here the work has started with the removal of cladding from the Village 135 building in Wythenshawe.

By Peter Lazenby and Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Cladding chemical too toxic for mines

Friday 23rd June 2017

Similar plastic to cladding used on Grenfell Tower banned in mines 40 years ago, write Peter Lazenby and Lamiat Sabin

SIMILAR plastic used for insulating Grenfell Tower was banned from Britain’s deep coalmines around 40 years ago because it was found to emit poisonous cyanide gas when alight, former miners told the Star yesterday.

Underground roadways in coalmines were sprayed with polyurethane to form a seal that prevented seepage of methane gas into the mines.

When it was discovered that the material could emit cyanide gas, its use was banned by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Mines and it was subsequently removed.

But the same material, or similar, is still being used in the building of blocks of flats.

Peter Davies was a miner at Brodsworth colliery, in South Yorkshire, in the 1970s.

He told the Star: “The roadway to the Barnsley seam was sprayed with this polyurethane.

“The mines research centre in Derbyshire, which is now closed down, found that if it caught fire it emitted cyanide gas so it was banned from the coalmining industry.”

Mick Appleyard, a former miner from Sharlston colliery, in West Yorkshire, said: “The first time I knew about this stuff was when there was a mining disaster in South Africa.

“More than 40 black South African miners were killed in a fire underground, but they were killed by cyanide poisoning. If the stuff didn’t catch fire it stayed dormant. But if it caught fire the cyanide was released.”

The use of the flammable insulation sandwiched between aluminium panels and an air gap has been blamed for the rapid rate in which the flames engulfed Grenfell Tower — spreading across 24 floors in just 15 minutes.

Hundreds of people have died, been declared “missing,” or been displaced after the devastating blaze broke out last week Wednesday.

The insulation was made of polyisocyanurate which is chemically almost identical to polyurethane.

Both chemicals are widely used in cladding, which was installed on the former concrete exterior of Grenfell Tower to “improve” the block’s image for the eyes of wealthy locals.

King’s College Hospital in south-west London confirmed that three survivors have been treated with the hydrogen cyanide antidote Cyanokit.

It is suspected that the 79 Grenfell residents confirmed dead so far were killed by toxic gas.

Cladding manufacturer Celotex has confirmed that the insulation would release toxic gases if on fire.

The combustible cladding has been found on at least three tower blocks across Britain, it was also revealed yesterday, with samples expected to be checked from many more buildings.

Camden Council [Labour party] leader Georgia Gould has announced that several tower blocks in the north London borough, including on its Chalcots Estate, will have its cladding removed.

She said: “The new results from the laboratory show that the outer cladding panels themselves are made up of aluminium panels with a polyethylene core.”

Councils in England estimate that around 600 high-rise buildings have some form of cladding.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced in the Commons yesterday that urgent tests are being carried out on all 600 blocks to determine whether they have flammable cladding similar to that found on Grenfell.

The Department for Communities and Local Government claimed that the figure referred to high buildings with any form of cladding.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on the government to ensure funds were available to make the high-rise structures safe by carrying out fire safety checks and installing sprinklers.

“Resources must be made available immediately,” he said.

This 14 June 2017 video from England is called Witnesses of Grenfell fire say alarms and sprinklers never went off.

Another video from Britain used to say about itself:

22 June 2017

Labour Party MP Chris Williamson in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire has challenged Tory Party Prime Minister Theresa May in parliament to pass legislation to ensure the fitting of sprinklers to all high rise towers in Britain. In response Theresa May refused to commit to such action.

By Felicity Collier in Britain:

Fire station cut by Johnson to be rebuilt as luxury flats

Friday 23rd June 2017

ONE of the 10 fire stations closed by Boris Johnson between 2008-12 while he was mayor of London is to be converted into luxury flats by a company which counts a Tory donor as one of its directors.

Belsize fire station in north London had served the community for 100 years before it was shut down in 2014 after Mr Johnson cut fire service budgets by £45 million.

Camden Council’s planning committee subsequently granted permission for the conversion into 16 flats despite an objection during a meeting last September by councillor Flick Rea that it was “patently clear that we did actually need this fire station.

Vulcan Property Ltd paid the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority £7.8m for the Grade II listed building, using a loan from Luxembourg firm Lendivest Capital, documents from the Land Registry show.

The firm’s founder and company director William Richard Woodward-Fisher gave £2,000 to the Conservative and Unionist Party in 2005, Electoral Commission records seen by website Political Scrapbook show.

A Fire Brigades Union (FBU) spokesperson said: “In light of the Grenfell Tower disaster, the closures of 10 fire stations, including Belsize Park, are an even more bitter pill to swallow.

“Fire stations are vital in order to keep our city safe. The Grenfell Tower fire should signal a warning sign to the government against more cuts to the life-saving service.”

In October 2015 the FBU blamed the closure of Belsize fire station for a delayed emergency response which resulted in the death of a pensioner, as engines had to drive from Soho.

This BBC video about London says about itself:

Newsnight: Mary Ann Sieghart on why Kensington and Chelsea is Britain’s Monaco

7 November 2013

The average price of a semi in Kensington and Chelsea is now £5m, up 120% since 2005. Mary Ann Sieghart investigates for Newsnight, and gets to look around one of the most expensive basements in the country. Ruby Wax is on hand to explain what’s going on.

By Steve Sweeney in Britain:

Posh locals show contempt for survivors of Grenfell fire

Friday 23rd June 2017

KENSINGTON toffs were branded “sickening” yesterday after they complained that rehousing Grenfell survivors in “affordable” homes on the same site as their luxury housing complex would bring down prices.

Unison conference delegates heard of the “utter contempt” shown by some wealthy residents of a development just over a mile and a half from Grenfell Tower in response to the government’s emergency acquisition of 68 homes.

“They simply do not want poor people to live by them,” said Doncaster branch secretary Jim Broad.

He described the comments made by some residents of the Kensington Row development as a “sickening and disgusting reaction.”

Some residents had complained that moving families who had lost everything in the fire into the block next to theirs was “unfair” on the spurious grounds that the Grenfell survivors would not pay service charges.

One woman, who asked to remain anonymous, had said: “We paid a lot of money to live here and we worked hard for it. Now these people are going to come along and they won’t even be paying the service charge.”

A man who lives in the luxury development, which boasts a swimming pool, gym and cinema that the survivors are likely to be excluded from using, had said: “I’m very sad that people have lost their homes.

“But there are a lot of people here who have bought flats and will now see the values drop.

“It will degrade things. And it opens up a can of worms in the housing market.”

Mr Broad also reminded delegates: “Every Tory [MP] landlord voted [in parliament] against an amendment to a motion that would mean homes would have to be fit for human habitation.”

Tower Hamlets branch secretary John McCloughlin said those who died in the Grenfell fire “were murdered.”

He added: “The Tories equate council tenants with Labour voters. These are working-class people, many of whom are black and from minority backgrounds.

“But they don’t vote Tory. They are the people who the Tories ignore.”

National young members forum delegate Kate Conway warned that young people were being priced out of the market by Tory ideology.

Northumberland delegate Cath Davies described Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as a “tsunami of hope” and praised his plans to build a million truly affordable and council-rent homes.

Unison vowed to step up its housing campaign.

4 thoughts on “London Grenfell Tower disaster news

  1. Pingback: London Grenfell Tower update | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: British class society, from the Titanic to Grenfell Tower | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: London Grenfell Tower, more fire disasters? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: London Grenfell Tower disaster, corporations guilty | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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