Grenfell Tower Fire Disaster
Data released by Kensington and Chelsea Council under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act seems to show that Grenfell Tower had not been checked for fire safety for 18 months.
Grenfell tower is managed by Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO), who also manage another 81 blocks.
It appears that the last fire risk assessment for the Grenfell Tower building, took place in December 2015.
This is not the first high rise block managed by this organisation to have gone up in flames.
In October 2015 a fire ripped through 14 storey Adair Tower in North Kensington; fortunately there were no fatalities but the blaze caused mass panic and resulted in a number of residents taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation. It is reported that had it not been for the swift actions of the London Fire Brigade the consequences of this fire and potential loss of life could have been much worse.
The Grenfell action group predicted last year that an event of this nature was only a matter of time and reported that they “firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO, and bring an end to the dangerous living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation that they inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders”.
Read the full Grenfell action group report at https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/kctmo-playing-with-fire/amp/
Clearly the full facts regarding how the fire started have yet to be ascertained, but on the surface there does seem to be some serious deficiencies with regards to fire safety at this particular property, given the fire brigade were reportedly in attendance within six minutes.
There must be a thorough investigation into this catastrophic incident, not only into how the fire started but also how effectively the building was or was not managed.
If serious deficiencies are found with the management organisation and the concerns raised by the Grenfell action group are founded, then charges under The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 should be brought. Under this piece of legislation companies and organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care.
Sources: http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/business/asset-management/foi-grenfell-tower-had-not-been-risk-assessed-for-18-months/7020461.article, https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/kctmo-playing-with-fire/amp/, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-40272168