Home' Greymouth Star : June 16th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
Friday, June 16, 2017 - 9
Police announced early today search
crews will use dogs in the Grenfell
Tower apartment building first,
because they are lighter and can get
into areas people cannot.
The core of the building is
structurally sound, allowing fire crews
to search from the stairwell. However
it could take weeks to check all rooms
in lower floors, and to safely search the
upper half of the building. London
Metropolitan Police are now asking
people to report anyone who was
missing and has now been found.
London’s fire chief admitted he is
worried about the mental and physical
health of many of the firefighters who
worked on the Grenfell Tower inferno.
Commissioner Dany Cotton told
media in London the 250 officers
“saw and heard things on a scale they ’d
never seen before” as they worked
through the night to rescue people
from as high as the 24th floor.
“ I spoke to some of them yesterday
who were truly distressed, not least
of all because they knew there were
people still in there.
“They were battling through the heat
and couldn’t get there.
“ What went on yesterday truly
traumatised a lot of people. It will
affect a lot of people.”
Officially, 17 people have died in
the huge fire that enveloped the
Grenfell building in the middle
of the night in London yesterday,
but Cotton said authorities “have
absolutely no idea” how many people
were unaccounted for. She praised
the bravery of firefighters who ran
into the flames, reaching the 24th
floor of the building to rescue people
from inside but said it would be an
“absolute miracle” if there were any
“They were in fear of their own lives.
They were in and out of that building
committing time after time to rescue
the people who were in there.
“They were never going to stop until
they physically couldn’t get in there
“They are heroes but they have
feelings and people were absolutely
devastated by yesterday ’s events. ”
The brigade has also warned the
edges of the building are not safe and
it ’s understood officers will conduct a
“fingertip” search of the block, which
is expected to take weeks.
Prime Minister Theresa May
visited the scene yesterday, and other
local councils around London have
committed to a review of building fire
Authorities have said many more
victims are expected.
Construction plans show the perilous
maze residents had to navigate to make
their way to the building’s single fire
escape. Renovations of the Grenfell
building in North Kensington saw
the building not only kitted out in
controversial cladding that could have
caused the deadly blaze to spread so
quickly, but also stripped of two of its
Planning documents submitted to
the council between 2012 and 2014
show a collection of compact living
spaces packed in tightly together on
each floor. According to floor plans
120 apartments were jammed into
the building’s 24 storeys, all around a
central elevator and fire escape.
Leading London fire and building
inspector Geoff Wilkinson said that
having only one fire escape may have
made the escape more difficult for
some residents, but it still should have
“ We can tell that reports (concerning
fire safety) were made and the fire
ser vice had made inspections relatively
recently,” he said.
“The question of having a single fire
exit is not uncommon. It ’s certainly
proved to be (adequate) in the past.”
A major refurbishment of the
Grenfell Tower, built in 1974, was
completed in May 2016 at a cost
of $15.26 million. Q uestions are
being raised about what caused
the apartment block to turn into
a blazing deathtrap, as witnesses
reveal residents were advised to “stay
One resident who said he and his
neighbours had complained about
the building’s safety for years said he
considered the disaster “mass murder”
as experts focused on the building’s
external cladding, fitted only a year
ago, that could have turned the tower
into a death trap.
Local media is reporting “nobody on
the top three floors sur vived”, crediting
the claim to a local community leader.
Other witnesses reported not
hearing smoke alarms in the building
until they were manually started by fire
crews. Lack of access to the building
because of narrow roads and gas works
in the area were also cited by locals as
complicating firefighting efforts.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said
firefighters were able to reach only the
12th floor and he pledged to get to the
bottom of whether the response was
adequate and residents were at risk.
“The reason it should be such a big
concern for all of us is that there are
many tower blocks across London and
across the country,” he said.
“ Many of them are the responsibility
of local authorities. We need to make
sure that legitimate questions people
have are answered. ” — news .com .au
uDogs to assist search for bodies
Yoko Ono gets co-credit
for writing Imagine
John Lennon’s son has described
the “proudest day ” of his life as his
mother, Yoko Ono, was officially named
co-writer of the 1971 hit Imagine.
Sean Ono Lennon attended a ceremony
by the National Music Publishers’
Association (NMPA) yesterday as his
late father’s famous single was honoured
with the organisation’s centennial song
As he helped his wheelchair-bound
mother, 84, on to the stage to accept the
prize at the New York event, NMPA
chief executive David Israelite declared
the song a Lennon-Ono creation for the
Lennon, 41, took to Facebook to
describe how his mother broke down
in tears as an old inter view with his
ex-Beatle father was played, crediting
Speaking more than 45 years after
the song’s first release, he added that
“patience is a virtue”.
Sharing a photo of the pair with Patti
and Jesse Smith at the event, he wrote:
“ Proudest day of my life: The National
Music Publishers’ Association just gave
the centennial (song of the century)
award to Imagine, but wait! Surprise!
“They played an audio inter view of my
father saying (approximately), ‘Imagine
should’ve been credited as a Lennon/
Ono song, if it had been anyone other
than my wife I would’ve given them
“Cut to: my mother welling up in tears,
and then Patti and Jesse Smith played
Imagine! Patience is a virtue! (PS then
they officially declared Imagine to be a
Lennon/Ono song). ”
According to Variety magazine, Yoko
said that a current illness had made her
appreciate the emotional song more fully
and added that the moment marked “the
best time of my life”.
Billboard reported that the BBC
inter view clip of John Lennon showed
him telling how the “ lyric and the
concept ” of the song came from words in
Ono’s 1964 book, Grapefruit.
“Those days I was a bit more selfish,
a bit more macho,” he said. “I sort of
omitted to mention her contribution. ”
Chinese kindy blast kills 8
An explosion at a kindergarten in
eastern China has killed at least eight
people and wounded dozens of others
as parents came to collect their children,
State media reports.
Two people were found dead near the
entrance of Chuangxin Kindergarten
in China’s eastern Jiangsu province
yesterday afternoon, and six others died
later at hospital, according to news
Some 66 people were injured. It was
not clear how many of the dead and
wounded were children.
Nine of those hurt were in critical
condition in hospital, Xinhua reported.
The blast happened as pupils were
being picked up at the end of the school
day, according to the police department ’s
Local newspaper Xiandaikuaibao
reported that the blast appeared to
have been caused by a cooking gas
Witnesses said on social media that
the explosion might have occurred at a
nearby food stall.
A witness told Global Times that the
blast hurled people several metres into
Photos and videos posted on social
media show adults and children lying
on the ground, some of them bleeding.
A video that was apparently shot at
the hospital shows adults and children
receiving emergency treatment.
Police said an investigation into the
cause of the explosion was under way.
The public security ministry sent a
team to investigate the explosion, state
media reported. — DPA
1813 Aust coin makes a mint
A rare Australian silver coin with a
hole drilled in it and dating from 1813
has sold at auction in England for
£98,400 ($174,223), more than double
its starting price.
The “holey dollar” was created from
a silver Charles IV eight reales piece
minted in Mexico in 1806.
These “pieces of eight ” were used as
currency around the world and were
often adapted for local circulation,
in this case in the new colony of New
The drilled coin was struck with a
design stating it had a value of five
shillings and was issued in NSW in
The coin is also stamped with the
letter “H ” standing for the name of the
engraver and maker William Henshall,
a convict who had been transported for
counterfeiting coins in England.
The drilled-out centre of the coin
became what is called a “dump” valued
at 18 pence.
The specimen of Australia’s first
currency belonged to Lord Strickland
who was NSW governor between 1913
and 1917 and until now has been in the
collection of his family.
The auction was held at specialist
auctioneer’s Morton and Eden in
London where the coin provoked
enthusiastic bidding and finally sold to a
private collector bidding over the phone
for £98,400. It had been expected to
fetch between £40,000 and £60,000.
Auctioneer James Morton said in a
statement that usually coins were spoiled
by having holes put in them.
“But this is a fantastic example of
Australia’s celebrated “holey dollar” with
all the details really clear. The fact that it
is a previously unrecorded specimen adds
to the appeal for collectors.” — AAP
Trump bemoans ‘witch hunt ’
United States President Donald
Trump blasted what he called a “phony
story” that he is being investigated for
obstruction of justice by a special counsel
probing alleged Russian meddling in the
2016 US election and possible collusion
with his campaign.
“They made up a phony collusion with
the Russians story, found zero proof, so
now they go for obstruction of justice on
the phony story. Nice,” Trump wrote on
Twitter, later repeating his accusation
that the probe is a “witch hunt.”
The Washington Post,
unidentified officials, reported yesterday
that special counsel Robert Mueller is
investigating the Republican president
for possible obstruction of justice.
Former Federal Bureau of Investigation
Director James Comey told Congress
last week he believed Trump fired him in
May to undermine the agency ’s Russia
Mueller was named by Deputy
Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein
eight days after Comey’s dismissal
to lead the Russia investigation as a
special counsel, a position created to
conduct investigations when a normal
Justice Department probe would
present a conflict of interest or in other
A source familiar with the Mueller
investigation confirmed the Post report,
saying an examination of possible
obstruction of justice charges was
“ unavoidable” given Comey ’s testimony,
although the issue may not become the
main focus of the probe.— Reuters
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