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Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:48 pm

UK police retrieve all 'visible remains' from fire-hit tower.

LONDON (AP) — All "visible human remains" have been recovered from London's fire-gutted Grenfell Tower, but the "catastrophic" damage means months of grim work will be needed before the full death toll is known, British police said Wednesday.

Three weeks after a blaze tore through the high-rise apartment building, the Metropolitan Police force said 87 "recoveries" of human remains have been made, but may not be from 87 different people. Police and forensic anthropologists plan to sift through 1.5 metric tons (17 tons) of debris on each of the building's 24 floors in search of more human remains, Commander Stuart Cundy, who is overseeing the police response to the disaster, said.

The meticulous task will take "many months," he said. Police say 80 people are either dead or missing and presumed dead, but only 21 have been formally identified. Officers believe no one survived from 23 of the building's 129 apartments.

Cundy said specialists had "forensically recovered the last of the visible human remains from Grenfell Tower" and taken them to a mortuary. "Until formal identification has been completed to the coroner's satisfaction, I cannot say how many people have now been recovered," he said.

Both the local government that owned Grenfell Tower and Britain's central government have struggled to respond to accusations that they were slow to grasp the magnitude of the June 14 tragedy — the country's deadliest fire in more than a century — and flat-footed in their response.

The British government said Wednesday that it is sending in outside experts to help oversee recovery efforts amid the strong criticism of the local council's work. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said an independent task force will help local officials deal with the "longer-term recovery."

The government's move falls short of meeting demands by local residents and the mayor of London that the council be removed from running Kensington and Chelsea, London's wealthiest borough. Kensington and Chelsea Council has faced anger for its slow response to the fire, as well as over alleged cost-cutting during the renovations that covered the tower in flammable aluminum cladding. The composition of the exterior panels helped fuel the fire's rapid spread.

Residents have complained about confusion and delays in getting assistance and finding new places to live. Opposition politicians have demanded to know why most displaced residents still are staying in hotels or hostels despite the government's promise that all would be offered homes by Wednesday.

Housing Minister Alok Sharma said 139 families have been offered temporary homes and only 14 have accepted so far. Some survivors were still hospitalized and others were not yet ready to make decisions about their long-term future, Sharma said.

"We have to respect the pace at which the families want to move," he told lawmakers, adding that "one of the big issues holding people back is the lack of trust" in authorities. His voice breaking, Sharma said Grenfell residents had suffered "unimaginable pain."

"This is a tragedy that should never have happened," he said. "We are determined to do all that we can to make sure something like this never happens again."
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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  bb1 on Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:08 pm

All "visible human remains" have been recovered from London's fire-gutted Grenfell Tower, but the "catastrophic" damage means months of grim work will be needed before the full death toll is known, British police said Wednesday.

I hope all the activists 'demanding answers' grasp exactly what that means - and if they don't, take them into one of the burned-out flats and hand them a sieve, let them try to work faster than the experts.

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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:17 am

Grenfell lawyer questions role of two experts.

A lawyer acting for some of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire has questioned the appointment of two experts by the Government to ensure tower blocks are safe in the future.

Jolyon Maugham QC says Sir Ken Knight and Peter Bonfield are "tainted by association" through their links to advice given to ministers last year.   (Jolyon Maugham QC is a tax barrister who specialises in litigating avoidance schemes.)

That advice said regulations were "adequate" to cope with combustible cladding on tower blocks.   More at link.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/grenfell-lawyer-questions-role-two-experts-191900675.html
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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:22 am

Grenfell Tower survivors have finally been given a one-year immigration amnesty.

Survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire have been offered a temporary immigration amnesty if they come forward to the Home Office, the UK government announced on 5 July.

Immigration minister Brandon Lewis, speaking in the House of Commons, told MPs that the migrants will have leave to remain in Britain for up to 12 months.

The decision comes after pressure from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott and is designed to encourage more people to come forward after the blaze left at least 80 people dead and many others homeless.

"This period of leave will provide survivors with the time to deal with the extremely difficult circumstances in which they find themselves and start to rebuild their lives whilst considering their future options, as well as to assist the police and other authorities with their enquiries about the fire," Lewis said.  More at link.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/grenfell-tower-survivors-finally-given-160322846.html
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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  bb1 on Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:57 am

a one-year immigration amnesty.

Abbott and co won't like that......

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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:01 am

bb1 wrote: a one-year immigration amnesty.
Abbott and co won't like that......
She said it wasn't long enough .... LL
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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  bb1 on Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:06 am

LL, I am honestly astounded that Abbot and co cannot see that the illegal migrants illegally sub-letting have made a horrible situation even worse, and are one of the reasons the authorities don't know how many people perished/survived.

Or maybe they just don't care, any stick to beat the government with.

Maybe a government Task Force should go through every single tower block in the country and deport anyone there illegally? Surely councils should at least know how many people are in their properties?

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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  Lamplighter on Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:54 am

Grenfell fire: Inquiry head faces angry residents' meeting.

The retired judge who will head the Grenfell Tower inquiry has faced angry residents and survivors in a three-hour long meeting.

A video of the meeting shows the ex-judge saying he would "find the facts as I see them from the evidence".

Joe Delaney, of the Grenfell Action Group, told the BBC that Sir Martin Moore-Bick was not jeered or booed, but people were sceptical about him.

He has already faced calls to step down just days after being appointed.

Sir Martin said he had been invited to the meeting by the Lancaster West Residents Association.

He described it afterwards as a "very useful meeting". More at link.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40520596
"People firmly believe that arrests should be made as a result of the outcome of all of this. If arrests are not made, people are going to feel justice may not be being done."
If course they do, just so long as its Tories and rich people in the dock, not the actual criminals. LL
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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  bb1 on Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:13 am

Who is it they want arrested? The gas fitters who did such a sloppy job? The tenants' association - including 8 residents and their new Labour MP - who signed off on the work?

Whoever was responsible for the cladding? The criminals who were illegally sub-letting their flats, and who have added to the death toll?

Oh wait, I know. They just want to lynch a Tory and to hell with boring stuff like 'evidence'.

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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  bb1 on Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:45 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/07/grenfell-tower-residents-call-for-more-time-to-prepare-for-inquiry

he chair of the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, has been accused of failing to command the respect of survivors and residents, who asked him to take more time to draw up the terms of reference when he met them on Thursday.

One person present said that the retired judge “lost the room” at the almost three-hour meeting in a north Kensington community centre. Joe Delaney, of the Grenfell Action Group, said Moore-Bick “wasn’t jeered or booed. It was more scepticism. You could hear people sighing and tutting.”

“It got a bit loud before the end. The man couldn’t even control the crowd and hold them. I have heard public speakers who can shut up a stadium full of thousands of people. This man couldn’t hold a room with 200 or so people,” Delaney told BBC Radio 5 Live on Friday morning.
....etc.

'Hold the room'? Someone's been watching too much Celebrity X Factor Dancing On Ice

I saw a clip of the meeting, and the 'activists' were doing their best to shout the judge down. If they keep this up, I can see him resigning and no-one wanting to take on this poisoned chalice - it's just not worth it.

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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  Lamplighter on Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:23 pm

Grenfell firefighters 'hampered by equipment'.

A series of failings that hampered the efforts of firefighters to tackle the Grenfell Tower fire and rescue the building's residents have been indentified by a BBC investigation.

Crews cited low water pressure, radio problems and equipment that was either lacking or did not arrive before the fire on 14 June got out of control.

Newsnight has learned a high ladder was unavailable for more than 30 minutes.

The London Fire Brigade says it has changed its procedures since the fire.

A high ladder will now automatically be sent to a fire in a tower.

An independent fire expert said having the high ladder, which is also known as an "aerial", available earlier would have given firefighters a better chance of stopping the blaze when it jumped from a fourth floor flat in the tower block and began to race up the side of the building.

More than 200 firefighters and 40 fire engines were involved in battling the blaze that engulfed the block in North Kensington, west London.

About 300 people are believed to have lived in Grenfell Tower and most got out on their own.

The fire brigade rescued 65 people but at least 80 people are thought to have died.
More at link.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40535417
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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  bb1 on Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:47 pm

I hope the 'activists' don't now start attacking the firefighters.

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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  bb1 on Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:28 am

Get used to being shouted at, locals tell Grenfell judge as he is repeatedly heckled at a residents' meeting
Labour councillor for Grenfell Tower Robert Atkinson told retired judge to get used to heckling
Sir Martin Moore-Bick was shouted at as he told residents he would do his best
A spectator told him ‘not to get personal’ and he replied: 'You don't respect me'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4676666/Get-used-shouted-locals-tell-Grenfell-judge.html#ixzz4mDsExNci
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Get used to the enquiry acheiving nothing, then, as a succession of judges quit in the face of 'activist' abuse.

Do they realise Atkinson didn't personally stick the cladding on, or install the gas supply?

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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  bb1 on Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:22 am

A poster that offered to ‘kick-start’ insurance claims on behalf of those who had their lives shattered by the fire listed the names Harmita Rai and Sejal Sachania, who both work for Leigh Day. Details on the posters also reportedly claimed that the company would contact embassies and draft letters for survivors in need legal assistance.
The poster was allegedly put up among pictures and tributes to the dead and missing close to the tower block. It offered ‘free legal support’ and immigration advice. ‘Our aim is to help you kickstart any potential insurance claims and review any complex documents,’ it read.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4676712/Law-firm-accused-touting-business-Grenfell.html#ixzz4mEL1J1Uq
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

I fear that, between the ambulance-chasers and the 'activists', the survivors and bereaved are going to be forgotten, trampled underfoot by those with their own agendas.

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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  bb1 on Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:13 am

Haunting footage from inside Grenfell Tower shows all that is left of the building as police reveal they're using SIEVES to search for victims' remains four weeks on from the disaster
Footage shows stairway down which residents attempted to escape the blaze
Police revealed they are using trowels and sieves during finger-tip search
They hope to find bone or teeth fragments so they can identify victims
A vigil will be held later today to mark four weeks since at least 80 died



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4688112/Haunting-footage-inside-Grenfell-Tower.html#ixzz4mbhKqW9w
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Why it is so difficult to identify victims.

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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:39 am

Grenfell survivor was diagnosed with cyanide poisoning.

At least one survivor of the Grenfell Tower fire was diagnosed with cyanide poisoning, BBC Newsnight has learned.

Medical discharge papers show 12-year-old Luana Gomes was treated for the effects of the highly toxic gas, which may have been released by burning of insulation or plastics during the fire.

Her sister and mother were also treated for risk of cyanide poisoning.

Mrs Gomes was seven months pregnant at the time of the blaze and lost her unborn baby.

It has previously been reported that three Grenfell survivors were treated with a cyanide antidote but this is the first confirmation of a cyanide poisoning diagnosis.

Andreia Gomes and her daughters were placed in medically induced comas when they were admitted to Kings College Hospital.

Mrs Gomes was unconscious for four days, Luana for six days and her sister Megan was kept in a coma for a week.

Luana’s discharge record states that she was diagnosed with “smoke inhalation injury” and “cyanide poisoning”.

It also records that she received two doses of hydroxycobalamine “for cyanide poisoning”.

All three women were treated with a cyanide antidote though only Luana was diagnosed as having been poisoned.

Victims of cyanide are effectively choked by the toxic gas. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, confusion, vomiting and convulsions. At high concentrations it can cause rapid death.

“The effects are really quick… you could die within seconds depending on the level of exposure,” says clinical toxicologist and emergency medicine and critical care consultant Dr Johann Grundlingh.

“When you breathe in oxygen normally, your cells produce energy. Cyanide blocks your capability to produce energy from oxygen.” More at link.

http://newswidestime.com/grenfell-survivor-was-diagnosed-with-cyanide-poisoning/
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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  bb1 on Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:00 am

I wonder, did that come from the cladding, or from furniture? Or both?


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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:09 am

bb1 wrote:I wonder, did that come from the cladding, or from furniture? Or both?
I think furniture has to pass rigorous testing before it is sold? As we already know the cladding was inferior I would lean towards it being that. If no other cases appear then it would have to be their furniture .... LL
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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  bb1 on Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:23 am

I just don't know, LL - the foam used in furniture is fire-retardant, not fire-proof. It could well have added to the horror.

And this is a perfect example of why lynch mobs demanding someone, anyone, is 'arrested' are not helping.


Some of those affected:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/13/grenfell-tower-survivor-12-suffered-cyanide-poisoningpapers/

Grenfell Tower survivor, 12, suffered cyanide poisoning, papers show

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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:29 pm

Electricity problems at Grenfell Tower 'never resolved'.

Dozens of residents of Grenfell Tower suffered electricity power surges so strong their appliances malfunctioned, overheated and emitted smoke a few years before the fire, it has emerged.

Documents seen by the BBC reveal how 25 residents claimed compensation from the council following the surges in 2013.

Some say electricity problems persisted into the months before June's fire.

Police say the blaze, in which at least 80 are thought to have died, started in a fridge freezer on the fourth floor.

One fire expert told the BBC the electricity spikes could have been an issue which led to the fire starting in the first place.

Neither the council nor the tenant management organisation which looks after the tower have commented. More at link.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40632705

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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  bb1 on Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:40 pm

Interesting, LL, and it would certainly explain the 'exploding fridge'.

This, IMO, is a good example of why the inquiry needs to be done properly, with the whole trail of disaster laid out, and no lynch mobs demanding someone - anyone - is arrested.

I actually don't think there is going to be a cover-up on this one, it was too public and horrible. And I suspect that builders, gas fitters, anyone who contributed to it is already having sleepless nights. Except for those who were sub-letting illegally and added to the death toll, they won't bother too much.

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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  bb1 on Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:30 am

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/19/grenfell-tower-cladding-would-have-burned-quickly-petrol-expert/

The plastic core of the cladding used on Grenfell Tower could have burned as quickly as petrol, a fire safety expert has said.

The energy output from the burning building would have been equal to burning 51 tonnes of pinewood, research by the University of Leeds has suggested.

Dr Roth Phylaktou, an expert in fire investigation at the university, said the cladding combined with insulation was "optimum for vertical fire spread".

He told the BBC: "If you set that on fire near the bottom you can imagine what would happen and how fast the fire will grow."

Before the blaze, Grenfell Tower had been recently refurbished with Reynobond PE cladding, consisting of Reynolux-coated aluminium sheets over a Reynobond polyethylene core.

Dr Phylaktou said: "The polyethylene in the cladding would have burnt as quickly as petrol."
...etc

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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  bb1 on Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:37 pm

http://news.sky.com/story/grenfell-heckler-calls-new-council-boss-murderer-10954447

The newly-elected leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council has been told to immediately resign by furious Grenfell Tower residents during a stormy meeting.

Elizabeth Campbell was formally elected at a council meeting amid angry scenes on Wednesday night.

As Conservative councillors voted for Ms Campbell, Grenfell survivors in the public gallery jeered and shouted "shame on you" and "murderers".

Many raised their hands in an attempt to vote against Ms Campbell, who was booed and heckled again as she addressed the meeting.

She replaces former council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown, who resigned in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed at least 80.

Just moments after her election, Ms Campbell faced immediate calls to resign herself.

Asking to speak directly to Grenfell victims, survivors and community groups, Ms Campbell invited any survivors from the 24-storey block who wished to speak to contribute to the meeting.

She said: "We meet at a time of unimaginable grief and sorrow. The Grenfell fire is the biggest civilian disaster in this country for a generation."

As Ms Campbell described how she had spent the past few weeks meeting survivors, the new council leader faced shouts of "Who?".
.....etc

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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  bb1 on Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:26 am

http://news.sky.com/story/southwark-tower-blocks-residents-told-of-collapse-risk-10983017

Southwark tower blocks residents told of collapse risk
Ledbury Towers' gas supply is cut off as inspectors find cracks in the walls could leave the blocks vulnerable to collapse.

Hundreds of residents have had the gas supply to their high-rise flats cut off after tests found the blocks are at risk of collapsing.

Following concerns raised by residents in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower disaster, inspectors found cracks in the walls at Ledbury Towers, south London, left the blocks vulnerable if a gas explosion occurred.

"Strengthening" work was ordered on the estate after a gas explosion caused the partial collapse of Ronan Point, Newham, in 1968 - killing four people.

However, inspectors say this work "may not have occurred".

Southwark Council said it was "not willing to take any risks" and will move out residents in 242 flats "over the coming weeks and months".

The authority is considering plans to permanently replace gas appliances with electric ones, and in the meantime is supplying hotplates and electric water heaters.

Deputy leader Stephanie Cryan described the measures as a "short term fix to a longer term problem".

"We feel that with the gas supply shut off it is safe for people to stay if they wish to," she told Sky News.

"If people wish to move we will accommodate that for them."

Southwark Council said it initially hoped to fix the cracks while residents remained in their homes, but inspectors' findings "means we are now planning to temporarily decant the blocks".

Alternative accommodation may need to be provided if the process to provide alternative power for the buildings takes too long, it added.

Vaunda and Steve Hill, who live in Ledbury's Peterchurch block, told Sky News they were angry about the council's handling of the issue.

"This wasn't done off the council's back, it was because one resident kicked up a stir over it," Mrs Hill said.

"Her and her husband brought in independent fire experts and surveyors to give the council an idea of the severity.

"All they were doing was filling in the cracks and you're left to deal with it".

The Department for Local Government said was working with Southwark Council and "stands ready if they need any further government support".

It added: "On such critical safety issues, we encourage local authorities and landlords to act upon the advice of experts and local fire authorities."



This is, IMO, utterly inexcuseable, and it cuts right across BOTH parties. Have those who are supposed to be in charge of safety and maintainance simply been banking their huge tax-payer funded salaries and letting everything else fall apart?

The buck stops with the troughers. Perhaps a Chinese-style crackdown on corrupt officials would help concentrate minds enormously?

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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

Post  bb1 on Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:26 pm

Bombshell-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40938697?ocid=socialflow_twitter&ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbcnews&ns_source=twitter

The London Fire Brigade was closely consulted over the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower that included the installation of flammable cladding, the BBC has learned.
Documents seen by the BBC say there was "close liaison" between the fire brigade and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO).
Firefighters were shown the "fire safety features of the building".
A spokesman for the fire brigade said he could not comment.
The fire brigade's role in the refurbishment, which was completed in July 2016, would be covered by the public inquiry into the disaster, he said.
Police believe at least 80 people died when the tower was engulfed in fire on 14 June.
The fire started in a fridge-freezer, but the cladding and insulation surrounding the building following a refurbishment has also come under scrutiny, with experts saying a more fire-resistant type could have been used.
Robert Atkinson, the leader of the Labour opposition group on Kensington and Chelsea Council, said he was "completely gobsmacked" by the revelation of the brigade's involvement in the refurbishment, adding: "I find this absolutely extraordinary and potentially very important.

"I really think we now need to make sure that the role of the fire people before the fire is looked into, and I hope that the judge and the inquiry will look at that very carefully."
...etc.

If this involves brown envelopes and backhanders.....

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Re: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London

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