Mail Online story about alleged cause of Grenfell Tower fire draws 1,100 complaints

Taxi driver Behailu Kebede

A Mail Online article which claimed that a man’s faulty fridge had started the deadly Grenfell Tower fire has attracted more than 1,100 complaints.

The article centred on the actions of Behailu Kebede, a taxi driver, on the night of the fire.

It is thought that the blaze started in his fourth floor apartment after a fire in a faulty fridge.

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) has received more than 1,100 complaints, the Guardian reported.

The overwhelming majority related to privacy and harassment issues, it added.

It is one of the most complained-about articles to IPSO.

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However, a spokesman for Mail Online said the article was not trying to blame Kebede.

“In common with several other media outlets MailOnline identified where and how the Grenfell Tower fire started,” said the spokesman.

The article appeared on Mail Online

“It attached no blame whatsoever to the occupant of that flat and in fact details how he raised the alarm and alerted his neighbours personally.

“It didn’t seem to us that naming the resident would be seen as blaming him since we did not see how any reasonable person could possibly hold him responsible.”

IPSO will now assess the complaints and decide whether to launch a full investigation.

The Mail Online said that the article had not been toned down in any way since its original publication.

More than 1,100 people have complained ab out the article on the Grenfell Tower blaze (Rex)

It is the second major complaint today regarding press coverage of the fire.

Earlier, it was revealed that King’s College hospital had written to the press regulator after it was alleged a reporter for The Sun posed as a victim’s relative to try and secure an interview.

The Sun denied the charge.


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