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Published: Fri, September 15, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Anger over Grenfell Tower inquiry

Anger over Grenfell Tower inquiry

"(The inquiry) can and will provide answers to the pressing questions of how a disaster of this kind could occur in 21st century London, and thereby I hope provide a small measure of solace", the inquiry's chairman, retired judge Martin Moore-Bick, said in his opening statement.

At the beginning of proceedings, Mr Moore-Bick led a minute's silence in remembrance of the at least 80 victims of the 14 June disaster.

He also rejected an appeal for a Grenfell resident to join his investigating team, saying that it would compromise the inquiry's impartiality.

Just one in 50 of the UK's social housing tower blocks now has a full sprinkler system, according to a new BBC investigation released on the eve of the Grenfell disaster public inquiry. He saw babies being thrown from the tower. Many residents accuse officials in Kensington and Chelsea, one of London's richest boroughs, of ignoring their safety concerns because the tower building was home to a largely immigrant and working-class population.

Haynes, whose daughter and grandson lived opposite the tower and have been evacuated, wore a T-shirt with the word "MURDERERS" on a red background.

'Grenfell should be a turning point, ' she said.

No evidence was heard during the opening to the inquiry, which is expected to deliver an interim report by Easter.

These tests proved dozens of blocks used similar building cladding as that found in Grenfell Tower and which has been blamed for the fire's rapid spread.

Police believe at least 80 people have died due to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, which sparked a debate about social inequalities nationwide.

To date, 58 of those killed have been formally identified.

Sir Martin paid tribute to those who died in the fire with a minute's silence during his statement, and also to the survivors of the fire, noting how numerous children who had escaped from the fire were able to sit exams within days of the tragedy.

"All they had to do was to marginalise the people who were living here, and that's what they were doing".

Six hundred people are receiving counselling over the fire, including 100 children and some of the firefighters who responded to the blaze. Only two families have moved into permanent housing. So horrendous was the tragedy - and the charred remains of Grenfell will stand as an unavoidable, macabre reminder until a demolition planned for the end of 2018 - that surely this time there's enough momentum to make substantive action over fire safety deficiencies in social and high-rise housing.

Core participants have the right to ask questions and access evidence during the hearings.

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