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Grenfell – high rise residents must have personal evacuation plans

06 October 2020

A disabled woman who died in the Grenfell Tower fire would still be alive today if high-rise owners had made evacuation plans for disabled residents, claims her family.

Sakina Afrasehabi had severe arthritis and lived on the 18th floor of the tower. Her family is seeking a judicial review of government proposals which are currently only considering personal evacuation plans for people in buildings considered to be at immediate risk from fire.

The public inquiry into the fire has already recommended that personal evacuation plans should be introduced as a matter of urgency for all disabled people. In October 2019, PM Boris Johnson said: “We plan to accept in principle all the recommendations … for central government.”

Plans would, among other things, look at whether disabled residents should be housed so high up, what happens if people cannot use stairs, and what happens if the lift is out of action.

DR UK Head of Policy Fazilet Hadi said: “The Prime Minister needs to make good on his word from a year ago. Disabled people should never be collateral damage in disasters like this. The recommendations are common sense and lifesaving and must be prioritised as a government action.”