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Five men questioned by police over 'offensive' Grenfell bonfire video

Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building yesterday morning. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 15, 2017. Seventeen people have died and more are feared dead after a huge fire destroyed the tower block in north Kensington. See PA story FIRE Grenfell. Photo credit should read: Rick Findler/PA Wire

By Press Association Reporters

Five men are being questioned by police after they were arrested over a video showing a model of Grenfell Tower burning on a bonfire.

Scotland Yard said the men, who are all from south and south-east London, handed themselves in on Monday.

They are a 19-year-old, a 46-year-old and a 49-year-old, all from South Norwood, a 49-year-old from Lambeth and a 55-year-old from Beckenham.

They turned up at a south London police station at 10pm and were arrested on suspicion of intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress under section 4a of the Public Order Act.

Footage emerged on Monday showing a large flammable model marked "Grenfell Tower", complete with paper figures at the windows, being set on fire.

The chairman of the public inquiry into the fire, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, called the video "offensive" as he opened Tuesday's hearing.

He said: "The inquiry is aware of the offensive video that was posted online yesterday.

"It must be shocking and distressing to all those involved... whatever form their involvement took, whether as bereaved, survivors or indeed members of the wider community.

"I am very pleased to hear that the authorities are taking the matter very seriously and that an investigation is under way."

Khadijah Mamudu, whose mother and younger brother escaped the fire, told the Press Association: "Their actions upset so many people around the world and they need to think long and hard.

"When one is ignorant of the world and people that are around them they do the most stupid and vile things. Bringing up children in such an environment is cruel.

"We can't change the way they think but they need to understand they are the minority.

"We have support and will carry on with dignity until we get justice."

On Monday, Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the "utterly unacceptable" video, while Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy, who is leading the investigation into the Grenfell disaster, said he was "frankly appalled by the callous nature" of the video.

A total of 72 people died as a result of the tragedy at the west London block on June 14 last year.

In the video clip posted online, raucous laughter can be heard off camera as the model is set alight.

A person can be heard saying: "Didn't it start from the 10th floor, though?", while others add: "Help me! Help me!" and "Jump out the window!"

Another says "Here we go" as the fire takes hold.

As fire is around half way up the model, a man says: "(inaudible) All the little ninjas getting it at the minute (lots of laughs)."

At the end of the clip, someone else can be heard saying: "That's what happens when they don't pay their rent."

The video ends as the model is completely consumed by the fire, with one bystander saying: "Perfect."

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