Dutch building closed, fearing ‘Grenfell’ disaster

This Dutch TV video about London, England says about itself (translated):

7 November 2017

He has been living in a hotel room for about 3.5 months. In June Antonio Roncolato just managed to escape from the conflagration in the London Grenfell Tower, and now the authorities are unable to find a new home for him. With some 500 others, he has signed up to help with the investigation into the disaster, because he is full of questions about the cause of the fire.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Rotterdam University closes building for fear of Grenfell Tower

Adapted at 01:29

The Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences has closed a part of one of its buildings as a precaution. The university has commissioned investigation of the façade panels of all buildings after the fatal fire in Grenfell Tower in London last summer.

“This investigation revealed a doubt about the fire safety of the façade panels that are attached to the oldest part (building section C) of the Kralingse Zoom location”, writes the Hogeschool Rotterdam in a press release. “Based on these findings, the university has commissioned independent research.”

This initial investigation has shown that the façade panels of the building component do not meet the current standards of fire safety. According to the university of applied sciences, the certainty can not be given that the building component is sufficiently safe for students, employees and other users.

No risk

In June, 71 people were killed in the fire in London because the fire spread rapidly through the outside cladding. The Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences therefore does not want to take any risks and has the building undergo further inspection in the coming days.


Puerto Rico, still no electricity this year

This video from the USA says about itself:

History Will Remember US Empire’s Torment Of Puerto Rico

9 January 2018

Four months after Hurricane Irma, almost half of Puerto Rico still has no power. Ana Kasparian, John Iadarola, and Michael Shure, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss.

“Federal officials said Monday that efforts to fully restore power to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria should get a boost with more work crews and more supplies arriving in the coming weeks.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said that it is getting its own barge to ship items and that materials it requested several months ago have been manufactured and are finally on their way to the U.S. territory. “We’re doing everything we can to increase the (power company’s) ability to do this as fast as possible for the people of Puerto Rico”, said Col. John Lloyd, who is helping oversee power restoration efforts for the Corps of Engineers.

He told The Associated Press that officials over the weekend also discovered some needed materials in a previously overlooked warehouse owned by Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority.”

Read more here.

British nazi terror suspects arrested

This 5 September 2017 video is called ‘Nazi’ British soldiers arrested under anti-terrorism laws.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

National Action: Six alleged members of neo-Nazi group arrested on suspicion of terror offences

Counter-terror police raid homes in Cambridge, Banbury, Wolverhampton, Leicester and Stockport in coordinated operation

Lizzie Dearden, Home Affairs Correspondent

Six alleged members of the neo-Nazi terrorist group National Action have been arrested on suspicion of terror offences.

Five men and a woman were detained in coordinated dawn raids across the Midlands are being held for questioning.

Five specialist counter-terror units were involved in the raids and investigators are continuing to search the suspects’ homes. …

Those detained are a 26-year-old man from Cambridge, a 21-year-old man from Banbury, a 28-year-old man from Wolverhampton, a 26-year-old man from Leicester, a 24-year-old man from Stockport and a 37-year-old woman also from Banbury. …

The operation came as three other alleged National Action members, including two British soldiers, were due to appear at Birmingham Crown Court in an unrelated terror case.

In a separate case, a man from Lancashire will go on trial later this year accused of buying a machete with the intention of murdering Labour MP Rosie Cooper.

The man and five others accused of involvement in the terror plot are all alleged members of National Action.

It became the first far-right group to be banned in the UK last December, causing its members to split into renamed regional factions in an attempt to evade the crackdown. …

Founded in 2013, National Action promotes the idea that Britain will inevitably see a violent race war and has been linked to violent plots, while its members ran what activists called a “terror training camp” at its former base in Warrington.

It praised the murderer of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was killed by a far-right extremist … in 2016 and called for “white jihad” against perceived enemies including Jewish people and the LGBT community.

The group was known for using the phrases “Hitler was right” and “Britain is ours, the rest must go” at marches, and online propaganda included images showing members performing Nazi salutes inside a German concentration camp.

Sabby Dhalu, the joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism (UAF), said “greater prominence” must be given to combating far-right terrorism.

She accused the Government and media of focusing disproportionately on Islamist extremism, adding: “The murder of Jo Cox and the outrage in Finsbury Park show that this is not a minor threat.”

Fellow joint secretary Weyman Bennett said hate crime attacks on Muslims and mosques also demonstrated the threat.

“After being defeated at the ballot box and on the streets, the far-right is increasingly turning to violence and terrorism”, he added.

“National Action are despicable Nazis who use Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia and threats of violence to intimidate all who oppose their sick ideology. They are a tiny part of the growing threat of far-right terrorism which must be prioritised and defeated.”

No sprinklers in Liverpool, England fire

This video is about the 31 December 2017 fire in Liverpool, England.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

No sprinklers in car park inferno

‘CLEARLY the fact that there were no sprinklers had its effect,’ Chief Fire Officer of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, Dan Stephens said yesterday.

He was speaking in the wake of an inferno which engulfed a multi-storey car park in Liverpool on New Year’s Eve. The fire in King’s Dock – next to the Liverpool Echo Arena – destroyed all 1,400 cars parked there, as each one became a petrol bomb, igniting neighbouring cars.

The car park was surrounded by blocks of flats which had to be evacuated. Over 80 horses temporarily stabled in the basement also had to be evacuated. It was good fortune and the extremely rapid response of the fire service which prevented injury and death.

The venue was forced to cancel the Liverpool International Horse Show and hundreds were left stranded overnight as many had parked their cars in the car park. Fire chief Stephens emphasised the lack of fire safety measures that were in place.

He said: ‘We would always advocate the use of sprinklers. Had sprinklers been fitted then that may well have suppressed the fire and given us the opportunity to be able to deal with that fire when we had sufficient water, sufficient flow rate to deal with the heat release which was coming from the vehicles involved at the time.

‘As you can see, the car park is open to the elements, it is well ventilated, winter fires are very, very difficult to deal with. Our first responder teams acted very quickly to make an internal attack on the fire, that gave people the opportunity to evacuate.

‘When it was clear to us that we were not going to be able to contain the fire to the second level, we commenced an evacuation of the Liverpool Echo Arena. The Equestrian event had about 4,000 people at that time as well as the horses. That evacuation was conducted successfully by the organisers in conjunction with the police, who then evacuated all the flats that surround the car park. So that was decisive and that rapid action greatly reduced the possibility of injuries.’

Stephen McKenzie independent fire safety consultant said: ‘It is a miracle that no one was injured. The amount of fuel load associated with each car, packed so closely together was immense. It is the perfect storm, where we have a car park at maximum capacity for a local event, with the fire spreading from one car, to the next, to the next. We have over 22,000 fires a year in car parks. This is a broken system in need in urgent review.

‘There is a worrying occurrence, quick on the back of the Manchester tower block fire, the New York High rise fire fatalities and the Grenfell Tower block fire with the tragic loss of 71 persons. So I think 2018 very much needs to have fire safety firmly on everyone’s agenda.”

The fire in the 12-storey apartment building in central Manchester happened on Saturday. Firefighters said that the fire was able to spread across three floors because the balconies were made of wood. Twelve fire crews were called to tackle the blaze on the upper floors of the building in Joiner Street, inside the city’s Northern Quarter, just after 4pm on Saturday. The building was safely evacuated with one person, a 23-year old, taken to hospital for checks after inhaling smoke.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said the fire had crept up the side of the building from the ninth floor as external balconies caught alight. It added that no external cladding was blamed for rapidly spreading the flames as was the case in the Grenfell tragedy last June.

At least 14 people were killed and another 21 injured in a fire that swept through a building housing the “1 Above” rooftop bar-restaurant in Mumbai, Indian’s financial centre, late last week. The tragedy further highlights the indifference of Indian authorities toward safety in public places and factories: here.