People living illegally in Grenfell Tower could increase death toll, Sajid Javid says



People living illegally in Grenfell Tower must be identified before the true death toll of the blaze is established, experts have said.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid pleaded for tenants illegally subletting flats in the west London tower block to come forward during a speech at the House of Commons.

He said coming forward would allow closure for families whose loved ones are still missing following the June 21 inferno, after top prosecutors confirmed that people would not be charged for coming forward.

All the survivors of the blaze will have been offered temporary accommodation by Wednesday, in line with Theresa May’s pledge to rehouse those affected within three weeks, Mr Javid told MPs.

He also announced that all 181 samples of cladding that had been tested so far had failed fire safety tests.

Inside Grenfell Tower

1/13

2/13

3/13

4/13

5/13

6/13

Water is sprayed on Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building

PA

7/13

Fire service personnel inside Grenfell Tower in west London

PA

8/13

A view inside the Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building

PA

9/13

Sniffer dogs were sent inside to the tower today

PA

10/13

Fire service personnel inside Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building

PA

11/13

Part of the scorched facade of the Grenfell Tower in London as firefighting continue to damp-down the deadly fire

AP

12/13

Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building

PA

13/13

A view inside the Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building

PA

Mr Javid, speaking during an urgent statement, said: “There may have been people living in flats that were illegally sublet who have no idea about the true status of their tenancy.

“Their families want to know if they perished in the fire.

“These are their sons, their daughters, their brothers, their sisters. They need closure and it’s the least that they deserve.

Grenfell Tower aftermath – In pictures

1/14

The top section of the death trap Grenfell Tower

Jeremy Selwyn

2/14

The tower today, after the flames were extinguished

Jeremy Selwyn

3/14

A close up of the tower’s damaged windows

PA

4/14

Fire service personnel survey the damage

PA

5/14

The tower today, after it emerged at least 17 were killed

Jeremy Selwyn

6/14

Rows of blackened windows after the fire

Jeremy Selwyn

7/14

Police sent in sniffer dogs today to search for bodies

Jeremy Selwyn

8/14

PA

9/14

The Grenfell Tower at dawn today

Jeremy Selwyn

10/14

Donations have flooded in for victims

Jeremy Selwyn

11/14

Water is sprayed on Grenfell Tower

PA

12/14

Rows and rows of blackened windows. It is feared over one hundred people may have perished

Jeremy Selwyn

13/14

Part of the scorched facade of the Grenfell Tower in London as firefighting continue to damp-down the deadly fire

AP

14/14

Fire crews examine the wreckage

PA

“But that can’t happen unless we have the information we need, so we are urging anyone with that information to come forward and to do so as quickly as they can.”

Mr Javid also said the Government was on course to honour the three-week commitment to those affected by the fire, which killed at least 80 people.

However, he added that people would not be forced to take up the offer of temporary accommodation if they were unhappy with it.

Smoke billows from Grenfell Tower amid the fire (Reuters)

Mr Javid said: “Some families have indicated that they wanted to remain as close as possible to their former home but when they received their offer, took a look at the property, they decided it would be easier to deal with their bereavement if they moved further away.

“Some families have decided that for the same reasons they would prefer to remain in hotels for the time being.

“Other households have indicated they would prefer to wait until permanent accommodation becomes available.

Hundreds of people were made homeless by the disaster (Jeremy Selwyn)

“Every household will receive an offer of temporary accommodation by this Wednesday but every household will be given the space to make this transition at their own pace and in a way that helps them recover from this tragedy.”

He said it was “disturbing” that all 181 samples of cladding had failed when tested, urging landlords to prioritise making buildings safe and to provide alternative accommodation while remedial work is carried out.

Mr Javid said he had asked for the testing regime to be independently reviewed following the 100 per cent failure rate and it had been found to be sound. 

Read more

Shadow housing secretary John Healey accused ministers of being “off the pace at every stage” since the fire, telling the Commons they were “too slow to grasp the scale of the problems people are facing and too slow to act”. 

“For the Grenfell Tower survivors, for the victims’ families, and for the local community in North Kensington, underlying everything is the question of trust: that those in positions of power mean what they say, do what they promise and don’t drag their feet before acting to deal with the problems.

“That’s a powerful message that must be understood by ministers, Kensington and Chelsea Council and the chair of the public inquiry, Sir Martin Moore-Bick.”

Additional reporting by Press Association.



Source : http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/people-living-illegally-in-grenfell-tower-could-increase-death-toll-sajid-javid-says-a3578851.html

Website by DEDALUSWEB