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Angry Residents Call For Arrests On Four-Week Anniversary Of Grenfell Tower Blaze

"The pace is too slow. If you need 1,000 officers working round the clock, find 1,000 officers. This is a national disaster, a national disgrace, a national tragedy."

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Locals and Grenfell Tower survivors remonstrated with local authorities and police over the lack of arrests and progress in the wake of the fire at a meeting last night.

The meeting came on the four-week anniversary of the tragedy, in which at least 80 people died after a fire broke out in Grenfell Tower, a residential high-rise block.

An expert panel struggled to answer locals' questions, with one man stating that as a tenant "you are classified as sub-human" and never listened to, The Guardian reported.

He went on to say: "The pace is too slow. If you need 1,000 officers working round the clock, find 1,000 officers. This is a national disaster, a national disgrace, a national tragedy.”

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Metropolitan police officer Matt Bonner, who is leading the force's investigation, said the pace was slow because of the sheer scale of the operation – but he was interrupted by locals asking why there had been no arrests made.

Bonner said any comments could prejudice further proceedings, and that his team was examining 60 companies or organisations that were involved with the building. “The scale of this investigation is why it will take so long," he said. "Give me the space to conduct an effective investigation and judge me at the end of it.”

He said about 250 officers were working on the criminal investigation and that they would interview 650 police, 300 firefighters, and 255 Grenfell fire survivors, as well as residents from the nearby estate.

Meanwhile, the BBC has learned that the now-infamous "stay put" recommendation to Grenfell tenants was in place for two hours after the first emergency call was made.

The advice, which was based on the assumption that a tower block fire could be contained within individual units or flats, has come under heavy scrutiny after the blaze rapidly and unexpectedly spread through the entire building – leaving many residents trapped.

"The advice our control officers give can change as the fire changes," a spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade told the BBC.

After the first emergency calls began coming in at shortly before 1am, residents were told by the fire service to place wet towels under their doors and remain in their flats.

The information about the warning, and residents' continuing upset over how the fallout from the fire has been handled, comes amid reports that at least one of the tower block's survivors has been treated for cyanide poisoning.

Matt Crossick / Empics Entertainment

It is believed to have been caused from the fumes of burning plastics, or insulation.

Andreia Gomes, who was seven months pregnant at the time of the fire, was treated for the effects of the noxious fumes. She lost her unborn child after the fire.

Her daughter, 12-year-old Luana, was also treated, medical papers obtained by the BBC confirmed. Her discharge notes she was diagnosed with "smoke inhalation injury" and "cyanide poisoning".

Gomes' other daughter, Megan, was also among those given a cyanide antidote, although Luana was confirmed as having cyanide poisoning.

All three were placed in a medically induced coma after they were admitted to King's College hospital in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Gomes' husband Marcio told BBC Newsnight how he and his family had been forced to make a run for it – despite being told to remain in their flat by the fire service. He expressed deep anger at authorities' handling of the situation.

It is not known what produced the cyanide in the tower block.

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Rose Troup Buchanan is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Rose Troup Buchanan at

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