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Public inquiry into Grenfell Tower fire to begin today with bereaved families having their say

The inquiry into the fire that killed 72 people gets under way in London today.

Image: Natalie Oxford/PA Images

A PUBLIC INQUIRY into the Grenfell Tower fire is set to get under way today with tributes, almost a year on from the blaze that killed 72.

All of the bereaved families will be given the opportunity to make a public statement at the inquiry, with the commemorations expected to last for up to two weeks.

It is expected that dozens will speak about their loved ones today when proceedings bein at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in south Kensington in west London.

The official death toll from the 14 June 2017 blaze is 71, but the inquiry is expected to acknowledge a 72nd victim who died from injuries she sustained in the fire in January.

Lead counsel to the inquiry Richard Millet said that, during proceedings, they would “never lose sight of who our work is for and why we are doing it”.

After two weeks of commemorative hearings, the inquiry is expected to hear opening statements from 4 June.

Earlier this month, UK Prime Minister Theresa May bowed to pressure from campaign groups by appointing new experts to assist the inquiry.

Survivors’ groups feared the inquiry risked being a whitewash unless May appointed a diverse panel that would better represent the local community to oversee the investigation.

Prior to May’s announcement, the inquiry panel would have only consisted of its chair Sir Martin Moore-Bick.

“To best serve the increasing scale and complexity of the inquiry, I have decided to appoint an additional two panel members,” May said in a written statement.

The fire in Grenfell Tower was an unimaginable tragedy, and I am determined that justice is done for the victims, survivors, bereaved and the wider community.

“We should not have had to campaign for it,” Adel Chaoui, who lost four relatives in the London fire, said, adding that they were “relieved” by the move.

“This is a huge step for all of us who are desperate to make sure the inquiry delivers truth and justice for the loved ones we lost in the fire and those that survived,” he said in a written statement through campaign group Grenfell United.

With reporting from AFP

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Sean Murray

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