I feel I'm Cassandra on the London thread, although it is a city I scarcely know (alas). I was only there once on a short jaunt from continental Europe to work at a conference.
This ghastly fire seems unreal in one of the wealthiest cities in the developed world, the kind of disaster one would be more likely to expect in a rapidly-but-shoddily developing country or in London or Manchester 150 years ago. Something is deeply wrong, though others must have far more information and background about this. The new outer cladding on the tower block was propagating the fire and there didn't seem to be any centralised fire alarm system. But I have nothing more to say for the moment... www.bbc.com/news/uk-40280169
It is absolutely true that this even is all the more shocking for being in London. If it had been in Dhaka or Manila, we probably would not have paid much attention to the event. Waking up this morning and seeing the event on television a mere 2 hours after it had started, I found myself wondering if social housing in Britain was built out of paraffin. Especially when they said that the building dated from 1974 and had recently been renovated, I just could not understand how a modern country had used such flammable material.
Of course such tragedies have proved that they can happen anywhere at any time. In the suburbs of Paris in 2005, there were 18 deaths in a much smaller and rather nice social housing project after some teenage girls had set fire to a... mailbox in the entrance, just to get back at another girl they knew. Absolutely incredible.
I fear that the bodycount might be higher than the 12 announced so far.
I definitely have paid attention to such disasters in Dhaka or Manila; for example the Rana Plaza workplace disaster and many problems with housing and workplaces in Manila. It is a fact that in general, the Western press doesn't pay as much attention to such disasters in poorer or "non-Western" cities. But one also tends to expect such horrible events more, in those countries experiencing very rapid and often not very careful development. As I said, there were certainly similar disasters during the times of rapid industrialisation and great population displacement in Victorian Britain.
I remember that incident in Paris in 2005, and it was in a very pleasant little HLM (Paris and its region have some exceptional social housing, as we've seen in K2's photo tours). That was a criminal matter.
I am quite shocked at this disaster. After 20 plus years of being blitzed by high and mighty elfin safety experts, for this cladding to have been permitted shows up the complete lack of common sense as now taught at all universities.
Man is not lost, only temporarily uncertain of his position
Two things. A disproportionately high number of the residents seem to have been Muslims. And, because it is Ramadan, many of these Muslims were awake eating a large breakfast before daylight and the fast begins. They ran door to door alerting their neighbors to the fire, perhaps saving many who might have slept till they perished.
Post by cheerypeabrain on Jun 17, 2017 17:45:38 GMT
The PM has invited representatives from the tenants and people working with them to 10 Downing Street so that she can hear their grievances and talk about the way forward. She then issued a statement about it. The tv news has had lots of Tory sympathisers on saying what a compassionate, caring woman she is and how the Labour party is scoring cheap political hits on the back of the tragedy???! Protests yesterday by local people at the council offices are also being blamed on socialist activists...by said Tory sympathisers.. I'm pretty certain that at least some of the locals are socialists...but that doesn't mean that they can't protest.
The victims of the fire need action, not words. They need to be re-housed rapidly in suitable accommodation, locally to avoid people being unable to get to work, school, their local GP etc..It needs to be accomplished with as little additional stress as possible so that they can grieve,come to terms with their experience and start living again. Locals and people all over have donated items and over £5,000,000 has been raised through charitable donations. The PM has pledged a further £5,000,000 from public funds and a public enquiry...but the horror of the event has left many feeling that homes for ordinary working people are always skimped on whilst the council is selling off social housing and land to wealthy investors instead of providing safe public housing for its own citizens. Twas ever thus.