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tv   BBC News  BBC News  June 15, 2017 11:00pm-11:30pm BST

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this is bbc news. i'm martine croxall. the headlines at 11pm: the prime minister orders a full public inquiry into the fire that destroyed a residential tower block in west london. so far, the number of dead stands at 17, but many people are still missing and the number could rise significantly as the recovery work continues. the first victim has been named as mohammed al—hajali, a syrian refugee who was studying engineering. his brother was rescued from the same flat by the fire brigade. they brought us outside. dozens of people are still listed as missing as appeals are made by families and friends for information. the prime minister the prime minister made a private visit to the scene, to the scene, and later announced the public inquiry need to know what happened, we need
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to now have an explanation of this, we owe that to the families, to the people who have lost loved ones, friends and the homes in which they lived. the local community is in profound shock and there is growing anger and a demand for answers. good evening and welcome to bbc news. the prime minster has visited the site of the devastating fire at the grenfell tower in west london and promised a full public inquiry into what happened. the fire which destroyed the residential housing block in the early hours of yesterday morning spread quickly and the number of dead confirmed so far is 17, though that figure is expected to rise. the emergency services say it will take weeks to complete a full search of the building.
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and there's a sense of growing anger in the local community about warnings being ignored. our first report with the latest on the tower block fire is by our home editor mark easton, and a warning, there are some distressing details in his report. exactly how many we don't know but police today said they hoped the final death toll would not be in three figures. the scale of this tragedy is yet to become clear. sadly i can confirm that the number of people that have died is now 17. we do believe that number will certainly increase. there are 37
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people receiving treatment of which i7 people receiving treatment of which 17 are still in critical care. the pairgot 17 are still in critical care. the pair got separated.” 17 are still in critical care. the pair got separated. i looked behind me andi pair got separated. i looked behind me and i didn't see my brother. i said, my brother, my brother, where is he? when i went outside i called him and said where are you. he said he was in the flat. i said why didn't you come when they put us outside? he said no one brought the outside. i said, where are you? i thought they took him outside with me.
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they didn't. they left him. younger brother hashim continued to talk to mohammed on his mobile phone until there was no reply. he said, please tell mum to pray for me. telling me, use the quran for him. he said, are you happy? are you happy with me? do you have any problem with me? isaid, no, who has a problem with you? you have a sweet heart mohammed. you'll make it out. then he said... he was speaking slowly... he said, i can't... i cannot breath. iam dying. they left me. why? relatives of five—year—old isaac paulos confirmed today that the little boy was among those who died in the fire. the agony of a wounded neighbourhood is written on a wall, the desperation of people searching for family and friends. prayers and solace
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from near and far. for the last two days, jason garcia has been searching for his 12—year—old cousin jessica urbano. we feel helpless really. we are hoping that, by putting up posters, sharing her image on social media, and talking to people like yourself, that maybe someone with information will get in touch. thy kingdom come... this evening, jessica's parents and friends gathered together in a community that is craving answers but complains of delays and evasion. at the moment we're grieving, but there is a bubbling anger underneath and we want to see somebody held accountable for this. the love and generosity that's poured into north kensington in the last couple of days cannot make up for the numbing sense of loss. the prime minister made a private visit to the scene today, speaking to emergency workers before announcing there will be a full public inquiry into what went wrong.
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when i spoke to the emergency services, they told me the way this fire progressed and how it took hold of the building was rapid, ferocious and unexpected. we have to get to the bottom of this. the truth has got to come out, and it will. the labour leaderjeremy corbyn also went in north kensington, insisting he would speak up for the community. shock and grief are being joined by outrage and anger. the questions are raining down, rather like the charred lumps of cladding, which locals are holding up as possible evidence that people were housed in a preventable death trap. this tower block fire looks just like north kensington. they came in and said, "get out, get out, evacuate now." but it was three years ago in melbourne, australia. and the similarities do not stop there. those of us who have been around for 30 years or more have never seen a fire develop in this way. in my 29 years in the london fire brigade, i have never seen a fire of this nature, and i have seen
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many high—rise fires. attention in australia focused on the building's aluminium cladding, an enquiry blaming cheaper plastic fibre backed cladding rather than mineral fibre backed. the same distinction is being made about grenfell tower, although the authorities insist building regulations were followed. london mayor sadiq khan was heckled by a small group of people on a visit to grenfell tower today. i don't want to hear this rubbish. feelings are running high. understandably, the residents are very angry and concerned and have genuine questions that demand answers and so whereas... someone needs to be held accountable. these deaths could have been prevented! the concerns are notjust about what went wrong in north kensington, they ‘re also about what could go wrong in thousands of tower blocks across britain. residents at trellick tower, who can see grenfell tower from their balconies, now have a constant and disturbing reminder of the risks
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of high—rise living. mark easton, bbc news, north kensington. there were hundreds of people in the building when the fire started and many families are waiting anxiously for news about their loved ones and posting notices locally appealing for information. the police warned today that they may never be able to identify all of those who died. our special correspondent lucy manning reports now on the families' search for relatives, you may find some of the details upsetting. mohammed hakim fears he's lost everyone — his mother, father, two brothers and sister. all his extended family supporting him now rushed to the fire when the calls of panic came. i spoke to her and the last few words she said to me was, "please forgive me if i've said anything to upset you or hurt you. i don't think we're going to make it out of the building." they were supposed to be
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celebrating next month. his sister, husna, was getting married, but the entire family were trapped on the 17th floor. they were reciting from the koran. and it wasjust heartbreaking, and then itjust cut out. and then i rang husna. she was, like, we're not going to make it, we can't make it, we can see flames under the door. we can see flames under the door. i kept saying, try and put things under the door to stop the smoke coming in and get as low as you can and open the windows. someone's going to come, call the fire brigade, do something. and then she stopped talking. all i could hear was this crackling noise in the background, because the phone was still on, but she wasn't saying anything. the not knowing is killing me. i really need to find out where they are. the family stood helpless outside, unable to rescue them. this is the worst thing
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i remember in my life. i saw my uncle, from the 17th floor. he opened the window. he kept shouting, "please, help us, get us out." he was saying allah's name, and all this. i kept looking at him, helpless. mohammed, it must be extremely difficult, just not knowing? not losing one member of my family, but losing all five, the whole, entire family. i don't have my parents any more and you only get one set of parents in this world. and i had three siblings. they are all gone, in the space of a couple of hours, after leaving their house, they are all gone. and no—one wants to give us any information about their whereabouts, if they are still within the building, or not. they still have hope, but feel bereft of help. adel chaoui is another relative deep in grief and frustration. ba by leena belkadi, just six months old, is missing, along with her mum, farah, and her dad, omar. they eventually found two
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of the baby's sisters in hospital. we cajoled and begged a nurse to go upstairs and after ten minutes, one of them offered to do so and came down and told us they had a child that matched the description, did we want to come up and have a look. we found one of the children there, the younger. my brother's looking around, and he's staring at another bed. and asks farah‘s older sister to have a look. farah‘s older sister says, "that's the other child, that's the older one." they were beds apart and nobody in authority was making any effort to identify them. you've had to do this all yourself? we've had to do it ourselves. so many families here are looking, hoping, dreading the news that may come. lucy manning, bbc news, west london. throughout the day, people living in this community have been
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expressing anger and frustration demanding to know who would be held accountable for the tragedy while the search for missing relatives and friends continued. our correspondent fergus walsh reports now on those still missing after the grenfell tower fire. hour by hour, the roll call of the missing and the dead lengthens. friends and relatives, desperate for information, have posted photos and messages on social media. many children are among those unaccounted for. 11—year—old fidoz kadir and his 13—year—old brother yaya lived on the 20th floor with their parents and six—year—old brother. all are missing. fatima, mirna, and three—year—old zainab choucair also lived on the 20th floor of grenfell tower with their parents and grandmother. again all six are missing. birktee haftam and her 12—year—old
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son birup lived on the 18th floor. relatives have said they have visited every hospital treating the casualties and got no word. zainab dean lived on the 14th floor with her two—year—old son jeremiah. she called her brother and said she had been told to stay in her flat. eventually the phone cutout. mirania ibrahim and her two daughters, five—year—old fatiya and hanya, who is three, were on the 23rd floor. the 30—year—old posted footage on social media from the smoke—filled landing before going back in herflat. khadija saye on the left is a 24—year—old photographer whose work is on show at the venice biennale. she lived on the 20th floor with her mother mary mendy. both are missing. gloria trevisan, an architect, and her partner marco gottardi are from italy.
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they'd only recently moved into a flat on the 23rd floor. they were unable to get out and called their relatives at 4am to say smoke was rising. a family lawyer said there is no hope of finding them alive. more names, more faces are still to come. behind every picture there is a family, friends and loved ones searching, hoping and in some cases already grieving. fergus walsh, bbc news. as we've heard both theresa may and jeremy corbyn visited the area today. and at westminster mps questioned the minister for policing and the fire service nick hurd. he described what happened here as a national tragedy. the labour mp david lammy, one of whose friends is still missing, called for a criminal investigation. our political editor laura kuenssberg reports on the political reaction. in an emergency, who's in charge?
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the prime minister met firefighters who have given everything at grenfell, but none of the families that have lost everything they had. she met volunteers on the ground, but returning to number 10, the focus today, getting help to those that need it. the government stands ready to provide every assistance necessary to the emergency services and to the local authority. i know we've all heard absolutely heartbreaking, as i did this morning, heartbreaking stories of the people that were caught up in this terrible, terrible tragedy. the labour leader was on hand in a local church, hearing fears... somebody has to be held accountable, somebody has to be held responsible. we do not want this kicked into the long grass. we do not want the government to hide this with some hollow platitudes that lessons will be learned.
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..and anger. give them hell. give them absolute hell. they knew. they knew that grenfell was unsafe. they knew that. we cannot allow people to live in a dangerous state, and that is a worry, but the resources have to be found and we will demand and make sure those resources are found. with worries for people who live in similar blocks and so much still unknown, mps demanded a meeting with ministers. when we talk about this as a tragedy, we're talking about it as if it's an act of god. the truth is, it wasn't some natural disaster. this is a man—made disaster. we look to you both, as ministers, to leave no stone unturned in getting justice and getting to the bottom of this. it's really important that there is utter clarity today about whether people should stay in their flats in the event of another horrific fire, which could happen this afternoon, as we speak here, or whether they should leave. i would like to see the minister putting resources into the fire service to make sure they have the resources to do full
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inspections of all the other blocks across the country within the next week. the government did promise all the survivors would get new homes near the tower. we have to act and think as if it was our friends, our family in that block. we have to have that emotional connection with what is going on, because there is no room for cool, detached, plodding bureaucracy. yet only those that lost their beds, their homes and their loved ones can ever truly know. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, westminster. the government says that the public inquiry will deal with all aspects of what happened and insists that downing street ‘completely understands' the shock and anger felt by people. there are many questions outstanding for the local authority, builders, and subcontractors, as well as the company that managed g re nfell tower. 0ur correspondent tom symonds reports on the investigations that will take place into the causes
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of the fire and why it spread so rapidly. grenfell tower showing its age a few years ago. it was built in the 1960s and recently it was refurbished. new cladding and windows were added, standard treatment given to tower is all over the country. so why this? how did it start? why did it spread so fast? it is clear something went badly wrong. colin todd wrote the guidelines council ‘s use when considering fire safety in tower blocks. i have been in fire safety for 41 years and never seen a fire of this nature in terms of speed of spread and extent of development. investigators' first priority will be to find out how it managed to spread so quickly and without any containment. these are the plans for the renovation of the tower. they include cladding panels and insulation fixed to its walls, part of a system of components designed to contain any fire. the panels do not have to be
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completely fireproof, but the system is supposed to slow down the spread of flames. the aftermath of the grenfell tower fire suggests the opposite happened. harley facades is responsible for the cladding, its materials and is fitting. was the work properly completed? the company says it is not aware of any link to the fire. rydon manage the project and insists it met all the relevant safety standards. the kensington and chelsea management manages the tower and it submitted a planning application which will be scrutinised closely. and the borough council owns the building. it agreed the planning application and was responsible for signing off the completed work. the council will be at the centre of various enquiries. all the companies involved face intense scrutiny of their work and of the specifications and which it was carried out.
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and of the specifications under which it was carried out. this is a family firm and the staff here are devastated over what happened, and they say they will work closely with the various investigations. the london fire brigade today used a drone to examine the wreckage and is leading those enquiries. its teams will have to work out the cause of the fire. one theory among residents is that a faulty fridge was the spark. if there is evidence of arson or negligence, the police will step in and there is a possibility companies could be prosecuted for manslaughter. but the government's announcement of a public enquiry places the grenfell tower disaster alongside an event like hillsborough. then 96 died. today the police said they hoped the number of lost lives would not reach three figures. the recently—appointed housing minister alok sharma has said the government's started talking to local authorities and housing associations about how
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they will ensure that the homes they're responsible for — are safe. but there are still questions about how ministers have responded to previous fires in tower blocks. 0ur science editor david shukman has been looking as some of the safety issues that have been raised in the past and reports on the future of tower block safety. the london fire has triggered concern right across the country. in belfast, fire safety leaflets are being handed out by the housing authority. suddenly there's intense scrutiny at every detail of the arrangements to cope with the fire. there are now questions about safety in all tower blocks, but with a particular focus on the ones that have been fitted with cladding. experts point to fires like this one, in southampton, in 2010, where two firefighters died, and where the installation of sprinklers might have made all the difference. people don't die in sprinkler buildings. a single death in a sprinkler building is a very, very rare event anywhere in the world.
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multiple death is almost unheard of. one of many tragic aspects of this tower block disaster is that for years experts have warned of the dangers of fire. back in 2013, a coroner called for sprinklers to be fitted to existing council tower blocks. a fire in south london had killed six people, but the recommendation wasn't followed and sprinklers are usually only installed in new buildings. next, having just one staircase — like in grenfell tower — has repeatedly been criticised as a hazard, limiting the chance for people to escape and for firefighters to get in. and there have long been concerns about cladding — the panels fitted outside the buildings. these are usually metal with a layer of insulating material. back in 1991, the rules about them were tightened, but regulations do not require that the panels should never burn. some critics say the current system of testing them
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doesn't go far enough. the cladding at lakanal house in south london was judged to have intensified a blaze eight years ago. six people died here. it was hoped back then that out of this tragedy would come a turning point, leading to safer the conditions in all tower blocks. but promised reforms never happened and the lawyer who represented the victims‘ families says that this time the authorities must respond, and quickly. we don't want the same situation as in lakanal house, where things dragged on and on and on and then itjust fell off the public agenda and then the public enquiry didn't happen. it was only an inquest and then nobody listened. this time the government must listen, and maybe, as others have said, maybe heads need to roll too. tonight in north london, a tower block, fitted with cladding by the same company, rydon, that worked on grenfell tower. it said again today that it followed every building regulation. even so, people here are worried.
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we don't know what the cladding is made of, but everybody now is concerned and very paranoid since what's happened at grenfell tower. we're worried about what is going to happen to us as well. last night i couldn't sleep very well. i'm very shocked with my mum and my kids as well. it may be that the horror at grenfell tower will bring real change, but this involves challenges that will be expensive and controversial. among them, getting more money to local councils, reviewing how towers are renovated, and overhauling the system of inspections. david shukman, bbc news. as we've heard, the government has said every family from grenfell tower will be rehoused in the local area. in the meantime former residents have been staying in hotels and in emergency accommodation at a sports centre. local churches have been offering food, drink and clothing, but community groups say that so much has been given that people should donate only if they see
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appeals for specific items. 0ur correspondent elaine dunkley has the latest on the community response. from all over the country donations are arriving. many have not slept since the fire destroyed homes. are arriving. many have not slept since the fire destroyed homesm is absolutely amazing. communities are to come together. there were muslim people donating to churches, christian people donate into mosques. it isjust christian people donate into mosques. it is just a network of not racist, colour, notanything, mosques. it is just a network of not racist, colour, not anything, just being human. many people felt hopeless as they watched the tower of fire. donations are helping this
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community heal. the towers came down in new york, it was reminiscent of that. you want to help. do whatever you can. as well as generosity there is frustration that food and clothes is frustration that food and clothes is being left on the street. liles, a local resident, has organised a sorting facility to take collection. we do not want any bags left on the street. that has been sent for people ‘s hearts. people do not need to send us a much stuff but they need to support the community in whatever capacity they have. in the miss of this horror and it destruction there is a bit of
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clothes are going here. % stop. clothes are going here. as more boxes arrive, those who are trying to help feeling overwhelmed and said the council could do more to organise collections, volunteers and storage. the council drag their feet. they should have done a lot. we are at common folks trying to help. there has not been any strategy. i came to see to help. but there are so many people, weighty someone there are so many people, weighty someone to tell them what to do. the local authority says it is trying to manage donations but the priority is finding homes. how do you respond to the criticism about criticism of the council has not done enough? we were very quick to set up three emergency centres around the town. they are
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staffed by council staff who have expertise, in helping older people, disabled people. the now there are enough provisions and people are in temporary shelters. but people need a roof over their ta ke take a look at the weather forecast. lot take a look at the weather lot ta temperatures a weather lot ta temperatures are rather lot ta temperatures are eather| we have freshened things up and as we go through the night, showers easing and high pressure building. it is definitely a more comfortable night. as we move through friday morning, patchy rain coming in across scotland, moving out across northern ireland. of cloud south. wet day
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further south. after a wet day across western scotland, in contrast, in east of the grampians, potential of 90 degrees. 21 possibly in belfast. cloud draped across northern england. low cloud around the coast. there will be some sunshine around, in the south—west and asserted parts of wales. highs a couple of degrees down on the sunshine. strong sunshine. pleasant sunshine, strong sunshine. tomorrow night, the weather front across the west of scotland. muggier. for the west started to get muggier. for the west of scotland, a decent day tomorrow.
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more sunshine materialising across england and wales. temperatures of responding particularly where the low cloud has gone in the south—west. where there is no low cloud we could sit mid—to high 20s. they hit building on sunday. picking a southerly, south—easterly. up a southerly, south—easterly. across western scotland, a seemingly cloudy and dank weekend. for most of us high and very high levels. we are only a few days of the longest day. it, even hotter with temperatures into the mid—to high 20s and possibly 30 degrees in some areas. mostly drive. possibly 30 degrees in some areas. mostly d rive. eventually possibly 30 degrees in some areas. mostly drive. eventually by the middle of next week, a change to
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