LONDON: British police said there may be “reasonable grounds” for bringing corporate manslaughter charges over the Grenfell Tower fire disasterm as loved ones of victims gathered for a service on Thursday.
Police wrote to residents of the London block, destroyed in a fire last month that killed at least 80 people, saying they might interview senior members of the local council and the housing association that ran the property.
The officer leaading the case had informed both Kensington and Chelsea council and the Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation that they “may have committed the offence of corporate manslaughter”, the letter said.
Grenfell Tower recently underwent a refurbishment and investigators suspect that the the cladding might have contributed to the rapid spread of the fire.
Family and friends of five of those killed in the inferno, gathered in Kensington, central London, on Thursday for a service led by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu.
The service honoured artist Khadija Saye, her mother Mary Mendy, Berkti Haftom and her 12-year-old son Beruk, and five-year-old Isaac Paulos.
At the service Saye’s cousin, Adelaide Mendy, described feeling “an excruciating and an almost unbearable pain” on the night of the disaster.
“The flats where families got together for parties and where social gatherings were held, a place where love was given and received, where endless joy was felt.
“That happy place now stands a war zone, dipped in blood. Black, filled with ashes and skeletons. With the silent voices that will never be heard,” she said.
Work to begin covering the remains of the 24-floor tower is due to begin next month. The remains of the tower are due to be dismantled “towards the end of 2018”.