Anger erupts over flaws at burned London tower
LONDON — Grief turned to outrage Friday over a deadly high-rise tower fire in London amid reports that materials used in the building’s renovation could have fueled the inferno that left dozens dead and missing as it decimated the public housing block.
Engineering experts say outside insulation panels installed on the 24-story Grenfell Tower may have helped the fire spread rapidly from one floor to the next. The Guardian newspaper reported Friday that contractors installed a cheaper, less flame-resistant type of paneling in the renovation that ended in May 2016.
Tensions were high Friday two days after the overnight fire gutted the huge housing block, killing at least 30 people and leaving dozens missing and hundreds homeless.
Scuffles broke out near the Kensington and Chelsea town hall offices as demonstrators chanting “We want justice!” surged toward the doors.
London has a chronic housing shortage even in the best of times, and those left homeless by the fire — already angry over what they see as government inequity and incompetence — fear being forced out of the British capital.
The Grenfell Tower housed about 600 people in 120 apartments. Britain’s Press Association reported that some 70 people are still missing after the fire.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said people were frustrated by the lack of information about the missing and the dead as well as a lack of coordination between support services.