The devastating incident that took place almost a week ago on the 14th of June still haunts the people who witnessed it first hand; the residents who not only lost their homes and their belongings but also lost their lives.
The fire that ravaged the 24-storey, 67-metre (220 ft) high tower, situated in Kensington, West London started at around before 1am and was reportedly under control of a team of more than 200 firefighters sent to tackle the raging fire.
Shortly after the fire had died down, news of residents being saved by Muslim residents emerged after several said they were woken by people who were up for suhoor. The grateful survivors who were welcomed in by mosques, churches and community centers almost immediately said they were “thankful for Ramadan.”
Powerful stories of community and love have surfaced during this tragic incident; however, there is also the viewpoint that this incident may actually not have been an accident. According to pop star and local resident Lily Allen who has been ardently opposing how the media seems to be “downplaying the news”, a public inquiry should be made because according to Allen, there seems to be a conflict of interest in the whole situation as a lot of Conservative MP’s of the Tory party actually own property throughout the area. Allen and others believe they cut corners to save money when it came to safety and fire regulations.
Furthermore media giants like BBC News have come under fire because the death tolls they have provided do not match the ones put out by Grenfell residents and firefighters who have been working tirelessly to help identify missing persons. According to official news reports the number of people dead is around 60 while the Press Association has deemed another 54 people as ‘missing.’ According to Allen, “I have never in my life seen an event like this where the death count has been downplayed by mainstream media. Seventeen? I’m sorry but I’m hearing from people that the figure is much closer to 150, and that many of those people are children."
“Those are off the record numbers I’ve been given from policemen and from firemen,” she added.
Later after these comments she was pulled from BBC’s News night on which she was set to appear, although a spokesperson said they thought an interview with Nick Paget-Brown, the leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council made more sense.
There have even been reports about Grenfell residents claiming that this was an attempt to clear out the area to make way for high end and commercial infrastructure especially since the area in question houses some of the most poverty stricken population in Britain. A Grenfell resident who was certain this was an issue of vested interests said “they don’t want us here” and said that in his life no such incident had taken place before the regeneration authorities made last year “to make the block better.”
Incidents where the truth has been withheld from people when an authority like the government is involved are not unheard of, with people from lower socio-economic backgrounds being marginalized and silenced.
Authorities have yet to comment on allegations such as these, even though the death toll rises day after day.