While Guy Fawkes Day is a big night for people across the United Kingdom, celebrations have been dampened by a horrific video which is going viral online.
In the clip, a group of people can be seen mocking victims of the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire disaster by burning their own model of the tower. The fire, which broke out in the 24-storey tower block in London’s North Kensington, killed 71 people and left hundreds more homeless or injured. It was the deadliest structural fire in the UK since 1988 and burned for 60 hours until it was extinguished.
The video shows a large cardboard model of the tower marked “Grenfell Tower” being placed on top of a fire. There are also drawings of people trapped inside the building. An English flag can be seen in the backyard, as people laugh and make fun of the victims.
“Help me! Help me!” one person can be heard saying. “Jump out the window!”
Another says: “Didn’t it start from the 10th floor though?” as others continue to laugh while watching their model burns.
“Stay in your flat,” another person says. Sadly, many lives were thought to have been lost in the fire due to a stay-put policy where people were told to stay in their homes during the fire.
“That’s what happens when they don’t pay their rent,” another person jokes.
It is not known when the clip was filmed, although it has gone viral on Bonfire Night. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has condemned the video.
“To disrespect those who lost their lives at Grenfell Tower, as well as their families and loved ones, is utterly unacceptable,” she tweeted.
Meanwhile, MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup James Brokenshire has also spoken out about the video.
“Have just become aware of the sickening video depicting the burning of an effigy of the #Grenfell Tower on a bonfire,” he said. “Utterly disgusting & those responsible should be ashamed of their actions which are beneath contempt.”
Commander Stuart Cundy, who is leading the investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire, has issued a statement regarding the video.
“I am frankly appalled by the callous nature of the video posted online,” Cundy said. “A total of 71 people died in the fire at Grenfell Tower, so many people lost so many loved ones, and many more have been deeply affected. To mock that disaster in such a crude way is vile.
“I can’t imagine the distress this video will undoubtedly cause to bereaved families and survivors.”
He confirmed the Met’s Grenfell Tower investigation team was taking the matter very seriously and any offences that have been committed would be fully investigated. Anyone in the UK with information is also encouraged to contact police.