Show Me the Bodies


The truth about Grenfell at long last. It is hardly possible to admit it. That the biggest tower block fire in UK history was preventable. The government had been warned for years that the building materials were not fire safe. Up until 14th June 2017, ministers’ response had always been: ‘Show me the bodies.’ Journalist Peter Apps weaves poignant survivor testimony with the detailed decision-making that led to that fateful night. In bringing the unfolding tragedy to life, he exposes exactly where things have gone wrong with social housing so that it can never happen again.

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‘Never before, in years of reviewing books about buildings, has one brought me to tears. This one did.’ Rowan Moore, Observer Book of the Week

On 14 June 2017, a 24-storey block of flats went up in flames.

The fire climbed up cladding as flammable as solid petrol. Fire doors failed to self-close. No alarm rang out to warn sleeping residents. As smoke seeped into their homes, all were told to ‘stay put’. Many did – and they died.

It was a tragedy decades in the making.