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Vigil held for tower victims one month on from tragedy

By Jack Hardy

Four weeks after flames engulfed Grenfell Tower, a grieving community stood quietly in its shadow to remember the dead.

Hundreds of tearful mourners slowly filed down a wall plastered in tributes in the west London neighbourhood as dusk fell. Pictures, flowers and handwritten messages were wrapped around swathes of the area, illuminated by candles brought out for the occasion.

The evening vigil was a moment of solemnity which has rounded off weeks in which those affected have lurched from rage to despair.

Looming over the scene was the blackened skeleton of Grenfell Tower, the resting place for many bodies too damaged by the fire to recover.

At least 80 people died in the inferno on June 14, while hundreds who called the block home were forced into emergency accommodation.

Among those at the vigil was Emma Dent Coad, the newly-elected MP for the area.

She took the Kensington seat a matter of days before the fire and said she knew people who died in the tower.

"It's very hard, people are on the edge," she said.

"I know a lot of people - I know people who have been lost, I know people who have lost people, I know people who are besides themselves with grief. It is really difficult."

Earlier, a public meeting between the leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, the police and residents descended into chaos as over the progress of the police investigation was increased.

Investigating officer Matt Bonner was quizzed at St Clement's Church a short distance from where the blaze happened four weeks ago.

"I cannot tell you about the case as it would put the investigation at risk," he told the audience.

He was met with cries of "arrest someone" as the crowd grew increasingly frustrated by his explanation.

Also in attendance was incoming council leader Elizabeth Campbell, who was heckled.

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