LONDON: An inquiry into London’s Grenfell Tower fire will begin hearing evidence into its cause on Monday, following a week of poignant testimony from relatives of the 2017 disaster’s 71 victims.
The public probe is set to examine five newly published expert reports detailing how the inferno started, why it spread so quickly, and the effectiveness of the fire protection measures in the 24-storey building.
A submission from Harley Facades, the firm that installed exterior cladding on the tower, will also be read, according to a provisional schedule.
It is suspected the cladding installed during a recent refurbishment helped spread the blaze.
Seventy-one people including a pregnant woman died in the fire of June 14, 2017, which was caused by a faulty fridge and devastated the residential block in west London in the early hours of the morning.
Grenfell United, the main body for survivors and bereaved families, said Monday marked “the beginning of a long road to justice” for those affected by the tragedy.
“It is going to be difficult to see some organisations trying to defend their actions,” it added in a statement.
“But we have trust that as the evidence emerges over the coming months, this inquiry will reveal the truth about how our community was treated before, during and after the fire.”
With feelings still raw about the disaster and the way it was handled, the independent inquiry opened last month with seven days of emotive statements from relatives of those who died.
It will take evidence in two phases, with the first fact-finding stage focusing on the sequence of events, before the remainder of the issues are addressed later in the year.
Martin Moore-Bick, the chairman of the inquiry, vowed to provide answers to victims’ families as the tributes ended last week.
“As we move to the next stage of the inquiry, my team and I are determined to provide the answers that you seek,” he said.