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Vigil Held For Grenfell Tower Victims Four Weeks After Devastating Fire

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

Hundreds of mourners, many in tears, slowly filed down a wall plastered in tributes in the west London neighbourhood as dusk fell.

Pictures, flowers and handwritten messages are 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.

She told the Press Association: "It's very, very hard, people are on the edge.

"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, really difficult.

"My plan is to get down here as much as possible, being here is just important for me.

"It is still chaotic, the whole process of housing people, getting them social housing, mental health help, whatever other help they are getting, obviously the people who aren't getting help come to me.

"It's disgraceful, actually, the council are still failing people every day."

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

"You have to let them be angry, you don't try and stop them, it's better they get it off their chests," Ms Dent Coad continued.

"Then you have to try your best to try and improve things."

Asked about the reception council leader Elizabeth Campbell received, she said: "I'm not surprised. Platitudes don't really count in a situation like this."

Niles Hailstones, a member of the community who has been working with those affected, addressed the crowd before a minute's silence.

Speaking through a megaphone, he told them: "This is about us, to stick as one, no matter what else happens.

"Out of the ashes of Grenfell has come new life, new energy.

"We, as a community, have made history and these lives will never be lost."

He then asked those gathered to raise their index finger in the air for a minute's silence. Many wept as they observed the mark of respect.

Then they joined in songs, including a rendition of Bob Marley's One Love.

A survivor who escaped the tower four weeks ago then told the crowd that every month they should march in memory of the victims.

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