In the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the management company and contractors who were responsible for the deathly renovations are under investigation and likely to face prosecution.
Commander Stuart Cundy, lead investigator, fought back tears as he explains that due to the intensity of the fire, some victims may never be identified.
“It is a truly awful reality that there may be some people that we may never be able to identify because of the intensity of that fire.”
The death toll reaching at least 79, Cundy goes on to say that the investigation is focusing on “how the building was managed and maintained, fire safety measures in the building, the construction and the refurbishment.”
The refurbishment which was set to cost £60 million, but then cut down to £10 million has Kensington and Chelsea Tenants Management Organization under the microscope, alongside the contractors, Rydon and Harley Facades Ltd. All parties involved could face criminal charges.
Residents had complained countless times about power surges, blocked emergency exists and all-round lack of fire safety regulations. Many, including MP David Lammy, have called for the prosecutions of all involved in this manslaughter.
General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, Matt Wrack wrote to Prime Minister Theresa May demanding a full court led investigation into the fire, which includes investigating the planning, building control and fire safety decision made by ministers in government. The conservative government has been decentralizing and deregulating these areas.
Matt Wrack explains “All of these have seen significant changes in the recent past as part of an agenda of de-regulation and cutting so-called red tape.” He goes on to say, “Those who took those decisions are going to have to start facing the consequences.”
Only five people have been officially identified, including rising artist 24-year-old Khadija Saye, Abufars Ibrahim (39), Anthony Disson (65) and Syrian refugee Mohammad Alhajali (23). The family of the fifth victim chose to keep her name off the record.
Commander Cundy, distraught, stood outside Scotland Yard, still shaken by his trip through the aftermath of the blaze. “On Saturday, I was in there myself and went all the way to the top floor and it is incredibly hard to describe the devastation in parts of that building.”
The climb through the 24-storey ruins was far worse than he’d imagined. “I have investigated major crime for most of service and I have seen some terrible things. But I don’t think anything prepared me for what I was going to see when I was in there.”
Ending on a hopeful note, Commander Cundy revealed that five people thought to be missing have been found alive on Wednesday.