London residents draw connection between Grenfell and Kemerovo fires


London residents draw connection between Grenfell and Kemerovo fires

our reporters

7 April 2018

The March 25 fire at the Winter Cherry shopping mall and entertainment centre in Kemerovo in Russia took the lives of at least 64 people, including 41 children—with dozens injured and still missing. The parallels with last June’s inferno that claimed 72 lives in Grenfell Tower, London were both obvious and disturbing.

The same callous disregard for public safety was evident in both incidents, with basic fire safety measures either not in place or ignored by the relevant authorities. Most of the children who perished in the Winter Cherry mall fire did so because the doors of the cinema on the fourth floor were locked. Many of the fire exits were blocked and the alarm and sprinkling system didn’t work.

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to London residents about the fire in Kemerovo.

Caul, who is an active supporter of the fight for justice for the victims of the Grenfell fire, said, “The Winter Cherry tragedy in Russia brought back Grenfell for me, with the reported numbers who perished, and fire alarms that didn’t work.

“What struck me was that [Russian President] Putin came out and said people will be held to account, such as those responsible for safety. People have already been detained for questioning in Russia, unlike here.

“[British Prime Minister Theresa] May’s response to Grenfell was so appalling, she didn’t even take the opportunity to be seen to be a bit more compassionate.

“The majority of those killed in the Russian fire were children. I thought ‘Why on earth is this happening?’ You have accidents, but this is no coincidence this massive loss of life, 72 in Grenfell, 64 in Kemerovo, in peacetime! It’s through gross negligence,…

Read more