London

Grenfell Tower fire: Mayor to request funds for taller fire platforms

Grenfell tower fire Image copyright AFP
Image caption Eighty people are feared to have died in the blaze

Sadiq Khan is to request funds from the government to buy taller firefighting appliances following the Grenfell Tower fire, the BBC understands.

The mayor of London has asked London Fire Brigade (LFB) Commissioner Dany Cotton to draw up a list of devices to upgrade the service.

Sources said her requests include three new aerial platforms which could cost up to £3m.

The tallest device currently owned by LFB can only ascend up to 32m (105ft).

Why were taller fire platforms not used?

The highest appliance in the UK can reach up to 42m (138ft) and was borrowed from Surrey Fire and Rescue to help battle the blaze.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Britain's tallest appliance could not reach the top floors of the tower

But it was unable to reach the top floors of the 24-storey Grenfell Tower, which stands at nearly 70m (230ft).

Current aerial platforms owned by LFB were chosen for their manoeuvrability and size so they could fit in London's tight, congested streets.

But Ms Cotton previously told the BBC it was "one of my priorities" to get taller fire trucks and "early conversations" had already been held with City Hall.

"Technology has changed, there is lighter equipment... that will allow us to have taller aerial platforms," she said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The mayor asked LFB's commissioner for a list of requests to upgrade the brigade's aerial fleet

Sadiq Khan said the brigade "will need additional resources from central government to pay for the additional machinery that the LFB needs".

It is understood the request for funds will be made to the government in the next few days.

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