You can read 19 more articles this month
MULTIPLE fire safety flaws and regulatory breaches were introduced to Grenfell Tower more than a decade ago, the inquiry into the blaze heard today.
Neither the fire lifts nor fire mains were capable of helping vulnerable residents flee the building or aiding the emergency response, expert witness Dr Barbara Lane said.
The lifts lacked an escape hatch, a secondary power supply or doors that can resist a fire for 60 minutes, as outlined in Approved Document B of the building regulations, she said.
The block’s dry rise system was also said to be in breach of statutory guidance, while a gas pipe installed in 2016, running throughout the building from the basement, was exposed at key points during the fire, the expert continued.
Ms Lane said the 24-storey structure was built with walls that were “entirely non-combustible” but the new cladding in 2016 added flammable material to the exterior, with a cavity between the wall and the insulation.
Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack told the Star that “we need to take time” to consider all the evidence “in a lot more detail.”
But he added: “I think [today’s hearing] confirms one of the things that we said from the start, that the key issue here is the fire protection in the building.”
Mr Wrack said Ms Lane had “very helpfully set out” the relationship between fire protection measures and “building regulations, the building control system, fire risk assessments and then how the fire service responds operationally.
“Clearly, there’s a whole host of failings in that system in terms of the work that was done at Grenfell Tower.”
In Parliament yesterday, shadow housing minister John Healey demanded answers over more than 1,000 “suspect cladding samples” which he said have been refused testing since the Grenfell Tower fire.
Mr Healey criticised government inaction on cladding and asked why 1,319 cladding samples had been untested.
Housing Secretary James Brokenshire could only tell MPs he would “look into” the matter.
Mr Healey said that “simply isn't good enough,” adding: “Since Grenfell, minsters have been too slow to take responsibility, too slow to act and this Conservative dogma of hands off is delaying the government action necessary to deal with this national disaster.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.