London fire: Death toll at Grenfell Tower may never be known due to irregular sublets

London: The death toll from the horrific tower block blaze in London may never be known because some of the apartments in the building may have been irregularly sublet, according to a lawyer.

At least 79 people lost their lives due to the blaze that destroyed the 24-story tower block in the Kensington district of the city last week, according to the London Metropolitan Police.
The police said the death toll was expected to rise, Xinhua news agency reported.

However, Victoria Vasey, director of the North Kensington Law Centre, told the media that because of the irregular property tenancies in the building, it was impossible to accurately know how many people were in the building at the time of the blaze.

Burnt facade of the Grenfell Tower. Reuters

Burnt facade of the Grenfell Tower. Reuters

"A lot of people were irregular in their tenancies and some were subletting. Some of them were illegal sub-tenancies," Vasey said.

The apartments in the building were rented to families and people nominated by local authority the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) as part of its legal obligations to provide housing.

The rents of the tenancies were below market levels. Some tenants may have sublet their tenancies illegally to make money.

The weekly Tuesday meeting of the government cabinet discussed the continued response to the fire and aid for survivors.

The MP for the area, Emma Dent-Coad, told the media that survivors of the blaze had been sleeping in cars and in parks because they don't know where to go and they aren't being looked after.

The response in the wake of the fire has been strongly criticized by politicians and the media. The British government has replaced the area Council with a panel formed by charities and other municipal bodies in London.

Updated Date: Jun 21, 2017 12:44 PM

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