Milan tower block blaze

Milan mayor likens tower block blaze to London’s Grenfell Tower

By Region Central Italy News

The mayor of Milan compared a fire that tore through a 20-storey residential tower block on Sunday to the Grenfell Tower blaze in London that killed 72 people four years ago.

The fire, which started on the upper floors of the tower and spread to the rest of the building. Experts say the rapid spread was due to the “chimney effect”, which turned the building into a torch.

Reports say about 30 people were in residence when the fire started. The building houses around 70 families.  Some 20 residents suffered slight smoke inhalation.

Tower block had cladding

Dozens of ambulances and fire engines were at the scene. All the residents in their apartments when the fire broke out reached safety.

Officials said the flames had spread through the cladding on the façade. The cladding was supposed to have been fire-resistant, Corriere della Sera reported.

Milan’s mayor, Beppe Sala, wrote on Facebook: “What was clear from the start was that the building’s outer shell went up in flames far too quickly, in a manner reminiscent of the Grenfell Tower fire in London a few years ago.

“The tower was built just over 10 years ago and it is unacceptable that such a modern building should have proved totally vulnerable.”

Angelo Lucchini, a professor of technical architecture at the Polytechnic University of Milan, told Corriere della Sera: “The facade of the building was built with combustible materials. Unfortunately, there is no law that prohibits it.”

Official investigation launched into cause of fire

Prosecutors in Milan launched an official investigation into the cause of the fire. According to Carlo Sibilia, an interior ministry official in Rome, “the rapid spread of the flames was due to the thermal covering of the building”.

The building is now at risk of collapse as the high temperatures could have melted the steel columns.

Designed to look like the keel of a ship, the 60-metre-high had an aluminium sail on its roof. This burned, falling in pieces to the street.

Leave a Reply