Notting Hill Carnival revelers warned not to take Grenfell Tower selfies
(CNN) — People attending the Notting Hill Carnival in London will be discouraged from taking photographs around Grenfell Tower, the 24-storey building that was the site of a devastating fire in June.
Announcements will be made on London Underground trains and extra protective barriers will be put in place to shield the tower from view.
London Underground said the measures were taken in response to requests from residents in the area, as plans were made for the Carnival, Europe’s biggest street festival. Locals have complained of visitors taking selfies with the charred wreckage of the tower in the background.
“We have worked closely with the local community and the Notting Hill Carnival organizers ahead of this year’s event to make sure we are as sensitive as possible to residents’ concerns following the terrible tragedy at Grenfell,” Mark Wild, Managing Director for London Underground, said in a statement.
“Having listened to local people and those affected, announcements will be made at stations and on trains asking customers not to take pictures of the tower out of respect for the victims and their friends and families,” he added.
The Notting Hill Carnival is Europe’s biggest street festival and takes place over two days each August in Kensington & Chelsea, the same London borough where the tower stands. At least 80 people died in the blaze although only 53 have been formally identified.
A Transport for London spokesman told CNN that scaffolding has been erected to obscure the view of the tower from the nearby Latimer Road station.
Police continue to work in the tower but will pause activity during the Carnival.
“We have made changes to our policing operation for this year’s Carnival to ensure that the local area around Grenfell Tower has extra officers on duty and protective barriers in place,” a Metropolitan Police spokesman said in a statement.
“This is to make sure that the security of the Grenfell Tower site is maintained and to protect the many items and memorials that have been placed near to Grenfell Tower.”
“We don’t mind people visiting but a minority have absolutely no respect.,” Samia Badani, chair of the nearby Bramley House’s Residents Association, told CNN.
“They take their selfies and they don’t remember that we are grieving. We need a bit of quiet and this will be constant, for two days. Over a million people are supposed to be coming and that’s the problem. It’s so many people.”
Badani has lived in the area near Grenfell Tower for 17 years and despite her reservations, believes that this year’s Carnival should still go ahead.
“The Carnival is important to the area, it’s about empowering minorities,” she said. “It’s about bringing lots of different people together.”