Grenfell Tower fire: Public inquiry hearing opens

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The public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire, which left at least 80 people dead and dozens more mentally and physically scarred, has officially opened.

It will examine the cause and spread of the blaze that engulfed the 24-storey tower block in North Kensington, in the early hours of 14 June, as well as high-rise regulations in England and the actions of the local authority in the wake of the disaster.

Retired judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick, who will lead the investigation, opened the inquiry with a 45-minute statement to residents and victims after a minute silence.

He called the fire a “tragedy unprecedented in modern times” and said he and his team are acutely aware of the impact it has had on survivors, with more than twenty survivors attempting suicide since 14 June.

He said:

“We are acutely aware that so many people died and that many of those who survived have been severely affected. We are also conscious that many have lost everything.

“The inquiry cannot undo any of that, but it can and will provide answers to how a disaster of this kind could happen in 21st Century London”

The inquiry will begin hearing evidence on Friday and an interim report is expected by April 2018.

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