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Grenfell Public Inquiry Details Released

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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The public inquiry into the fatal fire at London’s Grenfell Tower opened late last week, with officials announcing timeline goals for the investigation.

ChiralJon, CC-SA-BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The public inquiry into the fatal fire at London’s Grenfell Tower opened late last week, with officials announcing timeline goals for the investigation.

Retired judge and chair of the panel Martin Moore-Brick spoke at the formal opening and outlined the approach and goals set for the inquiry, which will be carried out in two phases.

Inquiry Timeline

Moore-Brick said that in the inquiry’s first phase will look at “immediate impacts,” including not only how the fire started and how it spread, but also the evacuation procedures that followed.

He said that there was “an urgent need to find out what aspects of the building’s design and construction played a significant role in enabling the disaster to occur’ and to establish whether there were, potentially, ‘similar defects in other high-rise buildings,'” the Architects’ Journal reported.

The hope, he said, is that an initial report for that first phase is submitted in spring 2018.

The second phase will look at broader issues, including the design of the building in terms of regulations and compliance with those regulations throughout all of its renovations and modifications. It will also look at the adequacy of the regulations themselves, he added.

Natalie Oxford, CC-SA-BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Moore-Brick said that in the inquiry’s first phase will look at “immediate impacts,” including not only how the fire started and how it spread, but also the evacuation procedures that followed.

A group of experts that will assist the panel are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Other Investigations

This public inquiry is separate from the criminal investigation that is being conducted by the Metropolitan Police, who said at a press briefing on Tuesday (Sept. 19) that they could consider individual charges in addition to the corporate manslaughter charges that were already mentioned as a possibility at the end of June.

Detective Chief Superintendent Matt Bonner went on to say, however, that the announcement does not mean that they’ve found evidence to support such charges, but merely that the investigation is keeping an open mind.

The announcement comes after various groups have campaigned for individuals to be charged, instead of the corporate measures.

“This has been something that people have been calling for from the beginning,” said Khatija Sacranie, a lawyer and co-founder of Grenfell Legal Support.

“There have been individuals specifically who they believe should be faced with charges. There is a feeling there is culpability that rests with people who are identifiable and this allows people to feel as if they have been heard. Until now there has been disregard for people’s feeling that they know why what happened happened and that the neglect started with individuals.”

Police also revealed that they are investigating four cases of theft, which are suspected to have taken place while the building has been under 24-hour surveillance, as well as eight cases of fraud involving people who have reported loved ones missing, only for those reports to later be determined to have been fictitious.

   

Tagged categories: Building envelope; Cladding; Criminal acts; Fatalities; Fire; Safety

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