Grenfell Tower Inquiry: Hearings on the deadly fire’s 72 victims’ ‘final hours and minutes’ conclude

“Every decision, every act, omission, interpretation, understanding, practice, policy, protocol, affects someone somewhere... an adored child, a beloved sister, a respected uncle, a needed mother.”

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry has concluded hearings into the “final hours and minutes” of the 72 victims of the tragedy who lost their lives in the fire.

Final submissions on behalf of those killed in the 2017 disaster were heard yesterday (Thursday, July 21) by the official public inquiry, based in Paddington, in Westminster.

Lead inquiry counsel Richard Millett QC said: “There can be nobody who ever had a heart who hearing those presentations could remain unmoved and unthinking.”

And he praised the survivors and the bereaved, saying: “Their dignity and their courage in the face of the ineffable horror is its own tribute - a light shining out in the darkness."

Green has become a symbol for Grenfell

Proceedings are expected to resume on November 7, 2022, with closing statements from the lawyers, before the inquiry’s full report is set to be published next year.

It follows 308 days of evidence over four years and is expected to set out the causes of the fire and determine the responsibilities of those involved - which could lead to criminal charges.

Inquiry chairman, retired judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick, said making conclusions from the more than 300,000 documents and 1,500 witness statements was “a task of considerable proportions”.

Mr Millet told the inquiry: “There may have been times in the last three weeks when you were struck by the vast distances between the final, terrible experiences of those who died.

“What they saw, smelt, heard, felt, feared and said in those hours, and the matters that we have investigated over the last two-and-a-half years in this phase.

The inquiry panel led by Sir Martin Moore-Bick. Photo: Grenfell Tower Inquiry

“How great is the gulf between, for example, what Jessica Urbano Ramirez experienced in her final hour and the filler debate.

“What did Hamid Kani’s end have to do with the NBS specification? What did Arconic’s test 5B have to do with Mehdi El-Wahabi’s last moments?

“You might have wondered whether we were sitting in a completely different room listening to something wholly unrelated to all those other threads which make up the fabric of this disaster.

“It is this perception of distance itself that is an important discovery in our work.

“It tells us how so many actions and omissions of so many people, working in offices and on their smartphones, in meeting rooms, on sites, in testing, discharging endless strings of emails, have consequences perhaps far remote from their consciousness but which were always objectively present in the perpetually contingent.

Tributes are left near Grenfell Tower on June 26, 2017 in London, England. Photo: Getty

“Each presentation we have heard has built a bridge across that gulf

“Every decision, every act, omission, interpretation, understanding, practice, policy, protocol, affects someone somewhere.

“Someone who is unknown, unseen, but who is an adored child, a beloved sister, a respected uncle, a needed mother.”

The Grenfell Tower fire victims:

  • Mariem Elgwahry
  • Eslah Elgwahry
  • Fatemeh Afrasiabi
  • Sakina Afrasehabi
  • Mohammed Neda
  • Rania Ibrahim
  • Hania Hassan
  • Fethia Hassan
  • Debbie Lamprell
  • Jessica Urbano Ramirez
Mourners carried pictures of their loved ones who lost their lives in the Grenfell fire.
  • Hamid Kani
  • Berkti Haftom
  • Biruk Haftom
  • Raymond Bernard
  • Abdeslam Sebbar
  • Hesham Rahman
  • Husna Begum
  • Kamru Miah
  • Mohammed Hamid
  • Mohammed Hanif
  • Rabeya Begum
  • Marjorie Vital
  • Ernie Vital
  • Marco Gottardi
  • Gloria Trevisan
  • Sirria Choucair
Sir Martin Moore-Bick looks at floral tributes after meeting local residents (Pic: Getty Images)
  • Bassem Choukair
  • Nadia Choucair
  • Mierna Choucair
  • Fatima Choucair
  • Zainab Choucair
  • Hashim Kedir
  • Nura Jemal
  • Yahya Hashim
  • Firdaws Hashim
  • Yaqub Hashim
  • Gary Maunders
  • Anthony Disson
  • Ligaya Moore
  • Sheila
  • Victoria King
A woman walks past a memorial near the burned-out shell of Grenfell Tower. Photo: Getty
  • Alexandra Atala
  • Mary Mendy
  • Khadija Saye
  • Farah Hamdan
  • Omar Belkadi
  • Malak Belkadi
  • Leena Belkadi
  • Logan Gomes
  • Ali Yawar Jafari
  • Khadija Khalloufi
  • Mohamednur Tuccu
  • Amal Ahmedin
  • Amaya Tuccu Ahmedin
  • Amna Mahmud Idris
  • Isaac Paulos
  • Vincent Chiejina
Members of the Justice for Grenfell group march down Whitehall. Photo: Getty
  • Joseph Daniels
  • Steve Power
  • Abufras Ibrahim
  • Isra Ibrahim
  • Fathia Ahmed Elsanousi
  • Mohammed Alhajali
  • Denis Murphy
  • Zainab Deen
  • Jeremiah Deen
  • Abdulaziz El-Wahabi
  • Faouzia El-Wahabi
  • Yasin El-Wahabi
  • Nur Huda El-Wahabi
  • Mehdi El-Wahabi
  • Maria del Pilar (Pily) Burton