Edinburgh marks 7th anniversary of Grenfell Tower disaster with rally and silent vigil

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A silent vigil will be held in Edinburgh today to mark the seventh anniversary of the Grenfell Tower disaster, when 72 people lost their lives when fire engulfed their London tower block.

The event will start with a rally at The Mound from 5.30pm, followed by a vigil with placards showing photographs of all 72 victims.

72 people died when fire engulfed Grenfell Tower in west London.   Picture: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire72 people died when fire engulfed Grenfell Tower in west London.   Picture: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire
72 people died when fire engulfed Grenfell Tower in west London. Picture: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire

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Campaign group Grenfell United says key recommendations from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry remain outstanding, including introducing a legal obligation on landlords to provide personal emergency evacuation plans (Peeps) for disabled tenants.

Edward Daffarn, who lived on Grenfell’s 16th floor and had long campaigned on safety issues at the tower, said: "The fact that disabled people living in high rise buildings are in just as much danger today as they were prior to the Grenfell Tower fire, despite an explicit recommendation in the phase one report that this issue needs to be addressed by landlords, is nothing short of a scandal.”

The rally and silent vigil in Edinburgh are sponsored by the Fire Brigades Union, Living Rent and Edinburgh Trades Union Council.

John McKenzie, Scottish secretary of the Fire Brigades Union said: “What happened at Grenfell Tower was an avoidable catastrophe that cost 72 people to needlessly lose their lives. The tragedy of that day will live in the minds of firefighters across the world for the rest of our lives.

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“The lack of meaningful progress in removing Grenfell-type cladding from buildings across Scotland seven years after the disaster continues to show complacency to the point of contempt for those living, working and being educated in buildings clad in these materials, and the firefighters who would be called to rescue residents in the event of a fire.

“The FBU stands in solidarity with all victims of the Grenfell tragedy and calls once again, for immediate action to address the cladding crisis across the UK.”

Des Loughney, secretary of Edinburgh TUC, said: “It is important to mark the seventh anniversary this year because justice has yet to be achieved for the Grenfell victims, Those responsible for the disaster have yet to be held accountable. During a general election campaign it is important to remind the public of the health and safety issues regarding high rise flats.”

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