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Firefighters lacked equipment during Grenfell tower inferno: Report

8 July 2017 12:39

 

Firefighters who responded to the Grenfell Tower fire in London say a lack of suitable equipment and a series of other failings hindered the rescue operation.

Fire crews have told the BBC that low water pressure, radio problems and equipment that was either lacking or did not arrive before the fire got out of control.

A 30-metre-high “aerial ladder” did not arrive at the scene until more than half an hour after the first fire engines were dispatched, some firefighters who were present have revealed.

By the time the ladder arrived, the fire had reached the higher floors of the 67-meter-tall building.

The general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, Matt Wrack, said he had spoken to firefighters “who attended that incident, who think that having that on the first attendance might have made a difference”.

A taller 70-meter-high aerial ladder, needed for the operation, arrived at the scene of the fire several hours after the building was burning.

Also, vital radio messages would not relay because of signal difficulty due to concrete walls and overuse of the radio system, they said.

On June 14, a massive fire erupted at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, west London.

Cheap materials used to refurbish the tower was cited as the reason for the Grenfell inferno, according to a report published in The Times.

The 24-story building block with 120 apartments was home to some 600 Muslim residents.

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