Fire at London's Grenfell Tower: In pictures


Grenfell Tower, a public housing complex operated by the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization was ravaged by a fire that claimed many lives and rendered countless others homeless . The police have raised the death toll to 58, as those missing since the fire broke out in the early hours of Wednesday morning, have been presumed dead.

The affordable-housing project was recently given a £8.7 million facelift, but in the aftermath of the disaster, survivors have spoken of how despite the cosmetic changes, the building was riddled with faulty wiring and frequent gas leaks.

The British media have reported that despite being flushed with funds, contractors used inferior paneling whose insulation properties were suspect, on the exterior of the 24-storey-Grenfell Tower.

This has drawn the ire of residents who believe the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization’s lackadaisical attitude to fire-safety is responsible for the fire that engulfed the building. Notably, the building was not fitted with sprinklers, which could have abated the fire and reduced the magnitude of the damage.

Moreover, the perceived apathy of the political class has been condemned by the public, with Prime Minister, Theresa May coming under fire for not visiting the families of victims. The government’s disaster-response capability has also been questioned, with the latency in releasing updates leaving an information vacuum. Aggrieved relatives of those missing are demanding greater transparency.

Grenfell Tower was a low-cost housing project situated in one of the most expensive neighbourhoods of London. Some residents recall that they had brought the inadequacies in the renovated superstructure, to the notice of the authorities.

The fact that their warnings went unheeded underscores the inequality woven into the fabric of the cityscape. One of the wealthiest boroughs in London has lost a monument that casually resisted the rising tide of real estate prices that inundated large swathes of the British capital.

A trail of white smoke hovers over the London skyline, serving as a stark reminder of the frailty of life in urban spaces.

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