London’s Grenfell survivors visit Valencia

Victims of the Grenfell fire visit Valencia.

Victims of the Grenfell fire visit Valencia. Credit: Grenfellnextkin/X

In a moving gesture of unity and support, survivors and family members affected by the 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy in London have recently made their way to Valencia.

This visit comes as a powerful statement of empathy towards those impacted by a recent blaze in Valencia‘s Campanar neighbourhood.

The visit took place on Tuesday, February 27, by a delegation led by Hamid Ali Jafari, who tragically lost his father in the Grenfell Tower fire on June 14, 2017. Their journey not only marks a show of solidarity but also carries a crucial message concerning the safety of cladded buildings.

A call for change

‘We have been saying for seven years that these buildings are dangerous,’ asserts Hamid Ali Jafari. His poignant words highlight a frustratingly slow progress in the regulation of building materials used in construction.

Jafari criticises the partial measures taken by governments, indicating that buildings up to 18 meters are still permitted to use hazardous cladding. The recent fire in Spain underscores the universal risk these materials pose, regardless of regulatory boundaries.

‘The government has to take some action to remove this material,’ Jafari insists, emphasising the need to prioritise human lives over corporate profits.

His call to action is clear: European authorities must collaborate to eliminate the threat posed by dangerous building materials.

Reflecting on past and present tragedies

Jafari’s reflection on the chaos following the Grenfell disaster paints a harrowing picture of confusion and despair. ‘We didn’t know where to go. We didn’t see local authorities around at the time of the fire,’ he recounts, describing the ordeal of spending ten days with his family in a sports centre, sleeping on the floor.

This stark contrast to the organised assistance provided in Valencia underscores the importance of preparedness and support in the aftermath of such tragedies.

The delegation’s visit to Valencia follows a similar gesture made to Milan, Italy, where another building with comparable cladding caught fire in 2021.

Fortunately, the Milan incident did not result in any fatalities, but it did cause significant material damage. The solidarity between survivors of these fires across different countries serves as a poignant reminder of the shared responsibility to fight against unsafe building practices.

A unified stance against unsafe buildings

The collective voice of those affected by the fires in London, Milan, and now Valencia calls for a stringent ban on hazardous construction materials.

‘The sad similarity renews our pain and duty to fight together to ban these disastrous construction materials,’ survivors shared on social media.

The Grenfell Tower fire, which claimed 72 lives due to flammable cladding, serves as a grim reminder of the urgent need for change. As survivors and advocates continue to rally for safer building standards, their message resonates beyond borders, urging a re-evaluation of construction practices worldwide.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Peter

      28 February 2024 • 16:06

      I really hope that EuroWeekly updates its readers as often as possible if an enquiry is set up and can confirm at some stage if the cladding was identical in Valencia as in the UK as I seem to remember it previously stating that the builders had claimed it was not.

    • Dik Coates

      28 February 2024 • 16:34

      A really sad part about the Grenfell fire was that no one was held accountable or charged with an offense. Professional negligence at it’s worst.

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