Five men arrested over ‘vile’ Grenfell Tower bonfire video – NATIONAL

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Five people have been arrested in connection with an investigation into a video showing the burning of a Grenfell Tower model. 

The men – two aged 49 and the rest aged 19, 46, and 55 – handed themselves into a south London police station last night after the video was shared online. 

Undated grab taken from a video posted on social media of a model of Grenfell Tower being burned over a fire. Picture: PA/PA Wire

Undated grab taken from a video posted on social media of a model of Grenfell Tower being burned over a fire. Picture: PA/PA Wire

Police arrested the men on suspicion of a public order offence and taken into custody.

Footage emerged on social media showing a large flammable model marked ‘Grenfell Tower’ with paper figures in the windows being set on fire. 

Since the video appeared it has been widely condemned with the Prime Minister Theresa May calling it ‘utterly unacceptable’ and Home Secretary Sajid Javid described it as ‘disgusting, shameful, behaviour’. 

READ MORE: Portsmouth stages candlelit vigil in memory of those killed during Grenfell fire disaster

While Khadijah Mamudu, whose mother and younger brother escaped the fire, said the burning of the effigy was a ‘vile act’.

Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy, who is leading the investigation into the Grenfell Tower tragedy, said he was ‘frankly appalled by the callous nature’ of the video.

He added: ‘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.’ 

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London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton, who was at the scene of the harrowing blaze, said the video was ‘appalling and disturbing’.

A total of 72 people perished as a result of the tragedy at the west London block on June 14 last year.

In the clip posted online, raucous laughter can be heard off-camera as the model is set alight.

A person can be heard saying: ‘Didn't it start from the tenth floor, though?’, while others add: ‘Help me! Help me!’ and ‘Jump out the window!’

Another says: ‘Here we go,’ as the fire takes hold.

At the end of the clip, someone else can be heard saying: ‘That's what happens when they don't pay their rent.’

The video ends as the model is completely consumed by the fire, with one bystander saying: ‘Perfect.’

Campaigners described the video as a ‘sickening act of hate’.

Natasha Elcock, from Grenfell United, said: ‘It's a disgusting video. We hope that the police are taking this seriously’, while Justice4Grenfell said it ‘caused great alarm and distress’.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said he ‘utterly’ condemned the ‘sickening’ video, describing the Grenfell Tower fire as ‘one of the most devastating tragedies our city has ever suffered’.