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Grenfell Disaster Could Happen Again Due to 'Crowded, Unequal Cities': Report

A disaster on the same scale as the Grenfell Tower fire could happen again in the UK, according to a new report warning of the dangers of “deep-seated societal and institutional stresses.”

The report, released by Muslim Aid on Tuesday in the run-up to the one-year anniversary of the Grenfell fire, said that the Grenfell disaster demonstrates that “the most deprived in society are hardest hit in emergencies…in our own backyard.” 

“While the precise circumstances may prove unique, the disaster also highlighted deep-seated societal and institutional stresses,” it read. “Factors that exacerbated the crisis are common to other disasters, in both the developed and the developing world.”

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The report also warned that, “with the effects of climate change, the threat of terror attacks, and high levels of inequality in the UK, there are good grounds to believe that large-scale disasters are becoming increasingly likely; that marginalised communities will suffer disproportionately; and that the bodies charged with responding will often be ill-equipped to do so.”

“All of this suggests that the lessons of Grenfell should be learnt quickly,” it said. 

The fire, which broke out at around 1 a.m. on June 14, 2017, killed 72 people. 

“This was the deadliest structural fire in the UK for more than 70 years; dozens of people died, thousands more were traumatised and hundreds made homeless,” read the report, which also praised the “sheer number of volunteers who descended on the area, and people’s generosity in donating both goods and money."

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“It would be easy to dismiss Grenfell as a one-off, compounded by the failings of a particularly flawed local authority but there are aspects that could