During the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower – considered likely to have been at the core of the rapid spread of the fire because of the cladding fitted – the building’s management organisation and the refurbishment contractor published a series of newsletters to update residents on the progress of the work. One of these newsletters reveals information that highlights a serious gap in the information so far disclosed by the authorities about the disastrous events of two weeks ago.
Four cameras in the lobby, cameras in both lifts – and those are just the new cameras added. It’s likely that the stairs and corridors also had at least some cameras.
So far, while there are links on YouTube to CCTV footage captured by cameras on other buildings of the outside of Grenfell Tower as it burned, nobody – certainly in the mainstream – appears to be talking about footage inside the building.
Why? Was it destroyed during the fire? Any room housing computers capturing the footage would almost certainly be at the bottom of the building, where the least fire damage occurred. Water cascading down might short them out, but information can often be retrieved – and it might be more likely to have been transmitted from Grenfell to a central office elsewhere, since the building is not known to have had a 24/7 security presence.
At the very least, any such footage would allow the numbers of people in the building to be more realistically estimated, simply by reviewing the footage over the previous 24 hours and to see who entered and exited the building. Of course, as MP David Lammy believes, the authorities may not want to reveal realistic numbers of deaths.
At the very least, the question should be answered promptly and publicly: where is the CCTV footage?
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