It's Been 1 Year Since the Grenfell Tower Fire Claimed the Lives of 72 People
The shell of Grenfell Tower was lit green to mark one year since the tragedy as memorials have been held all over London.
Today marks one year since a massive fire took over Grenfell Tower—a social housing building in west London—killing 72 people.
The remnants of the tower was lit green at 12:54 a.m., among other major landmarks around London, in remembrance of the lives lost, NPR reports. It was the moment when the first emergency call was made. A moment of silence was also observed midday.
The tragedy of Grenfell Tower brought to light the poor living conditions residents faced, the slow, distant government response they endured and a long overdue review of building materials in other public housing building across the UK.
The fire started on the lower floors and raced upward, while those trapped on the highest floors were forced to wave whatever they had to get people's attention, screaming for help. Grenfell Tower residents had filed complaints concerning the fire safety of the building only months before the diaster. The building was wrapped in a flammable siding rather than a fire-resistant alternative, according to NPR.
The survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire have had a challenging time starting over because of delays in obtaining replacement housing, despite Prime Minister Theresa May promising the survivors that they would be rehoused within three weeks. BBC reports that only 83 households have been moved to permanent housing—that's fewer than half of those who were evacuated. According to the Kensington and Chelsea Council, the rest of the survivors are still in temporary housing.
As we learned the stories behind the lives cut short in the fire, Khadija Saye, a rising British-Gambian photographer, was among the victims along with her mother.
Her last photographic series, Dwelling: in this space we breahe, explored traditional Gambian spiritual practices and was shown at the 57th Venice Biennale. Her career as an artist was on the brink of flourishing.
Saye was trapped on the 20th floor, posting gut-wrenching Facebook statuses asking her friends and families for their prayers. She was 24-years-old.
Revisit Nigerian poet and novelist Ben Okri's poem dedicated to the memory of the victims below.
Our thoughts are with the Grenfell community as they continue to fight for justice.