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Dublin: 2°C Wednesday 14 April 2021

'Arrest someone': Anger simmers as hundreds hold vigil for Grenfell victims

Authorities say that some of the victims may never be found due to the scale of destruction caused by the fire.

Tower block fire in London People attend a vigil at the memorial wall on Bramley Road last night. Source: Jonathan Brady via PA Images

HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE held a vigil yesterday evening for the victims of the London tower block inferno, as outrage over the official reaction and the slow-paced investigation continues to put pressure on the council.

Four weeks after a devastating fire ripped through Grenfell Tower in west London, mourners lit candles in an area filled with pictures, flowers and handwritten notes of remembrance.

“I know people who have been lost, I know people who have lost people, I know people who are besides themselves with grief. It is really, really difficult,” local MP Emma Dent Coad said.

Tower block fire in London Source: Jonathan Brady via PA Images

A minute’s silence was held during which many wept, after which people attending the vigil sang Bob Marley’s One Love.

At least 80 people were killed when the high-rise went up in flames at an incredible speed, with the ferocity of the blaze prompting investigators to admit some victims may never be found.

Grenfell Tower 4 weeks on - London What remains of Grenfell Tower - a month after a giant fire engulfed the 24-storey block in Kensington. Source: Matt Crossick via

“Four weeks ago a terrible tragedy unfolded within Grenfell Tower. The human cost of that tragedy is something we are all still trying to fully comprehend,” police commander Stuart Cundy said in a statement yesterday.

The Metropolitan Police’s disaster victim identification coordinator, Alistair Hutchins, told the BBC that Grenfell Tower was the worst incident he has dealt with in his 18-year career.

Tower block fire in London Source: Jonathan Brady via PA Images

Describing the painstaking search through the debris, Hutchins said his team will employ 6mm sieves to pick up fragments such as bones and teeth.

With the recovery operation expected to take months, there has been anger within the local community at the official handling of the fire.

At a meeting with survivors earlier yesterday, police investigator Matt Bonner was met with cries of “arrest someone” as people grew frustrated with his explanations of the probe.

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Tower block fire in London Source: PA Wire/PA Images

The incoming leader of the local authority, Elizabeth Campbell, was meanwhile heckled by one audience member.

Her predecessor as head of Kensington and Chelsea council, Nicholas Paget-Brown, stepped down over criticism of his handling of the fire.

But Campbell has been described as being disconnected from the community, after telling the BBC yesterday that she had never been into the local high-rises before taking up her new post.

© AFP 2017

Read: Zainab Deen named as latest Grenfell victim – but 40 others still to be identified

Read: Just 21 of the Grenfell Tower dead have been identified

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