The Kings Cross Fire 30 years ago yesterday started at Kings Cross Underground station killing 31 people and injuring a 100. A counsellor was provided for the 150 fire fighters who attended the scene, but was not used. Hopefully how times have changed. The awareness of PTSD has risen, and avoidance strategies such as alcoholism and the link to depression is more widely known.
There is an immediate association with Grenfell. The closest link being panelling. Wooden panelling clad the escalators at Kings Cross, helping spread the fire. The cladding in tower blocks has unfortunately become infamous.
30 years ago the free market and globalisation was firmly set in motion, paving the way for the mass inequality the world is suffering today. Both incidents kick started a change: but still the bottom line wins. The cost is looked at before the potential danger to human life.
The people who died at Kings Cross were from all parts of the population. In this way there was little discrimination except that those who died were travelling by tube. In Grenfell it was more a reflection of our time of inequality. A tower block situated in one of the most expensive boroughs in the country, housing people living in poverty.
Both fires reflect on the bottom line. London underground was used to fires on the tube being common place so had become complacent. Government cuts allowing builders of buildings to be safety advisers at the same time, lowered standards.
The lack of learning and awareness of tragedy being missed or not built upon is common throughout history. Humans create change only when forced to do so. Mass production emphasises the cost of multiples. The cost of a safer cladding panel being £10 more expensive sounds cheap until you order half a million.
Kings Cross Fire
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2017
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This article is designed to provoke argument and critique