Outrage as a bus-load of Chinese tourists is driven to Grenfell Tower to take photos

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Grenfell survivors have asked people to stop taking pictures with the tower. This image, from July, shows two sightseers posing for a picture in front of the building Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4932518/Chinese-guide-sent-home-taking-tourists-Grenfell.html#ixzz4u4fZF4dg Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

A Chinese tour guide has sparked outrage after bringing a group of tourists to take pictures of Grenfell Tower.

The unauthorised visit saw a bus-load of sightseers dropped off near to the tower, where up to 80 people died in June during a blaze in London’s worst fire disaster since the Blitz.

The tour guide has been sent back to China in disgrace while the bus driver, who when confronted claimed the tourists were Chinese health and safety experts, has been suspended.

Tourists were seen taking out their cameras and taking pictures of the disaster site on Wednesday.

Witness John Gregory said: ‘When I approached the coach driver, he said that they are health and safety experts from China. Surely there are enough photographs on the internet of the tower that they don’t have to come in busloads to take photos of it.’

Moyra Samuels is a campaign co-ordinator at Justice4Grenfell and condemned the tourists.

She told the MailOnline: ‘If people want to use someone else’s grief as a tourist attraction what can we do? It’s insensitive and upsetting for the survivors. I think human beings are becoming extremely insensitive. This is not disaster porn and people need to develop a bit of respect.

‘Today we are burying three people from the tragedy. People need to remember this is a community that is still grieving.’

The tourists have sparked outrage online, with furious Grenfell supporters slamming their ‘disgusting’ behaviour.

It is the latest example of so-called grief tourism, with scores of people travelling to the tower in order to snap selfies 
It is the latest example of so-called grief tourism, with scores of people travelling to the tower in order to snap selfies

Siobhan Piner said: ‘I can not understand the morbidity of wanting a photo. If you go there, especially, it’s to pay your respects and reflect on the tragedy, not to take photos.

‘Come on people, have some integrity and respect.’

Adrian Palmer wrote: ‘It’s a sight for experiencing the sheer terror and needless suffering of so many people.

‘You only have to see the pictures of the children who lost their futures, to realise that it is to be treated with respect, not as a tourist attraction.’

Margaret Dunne said: ‘Disgusting and totally disrespectful.’

And Louise Russell commented: ‘This is disgusting.’

A month after the tragedy tourists were posing for selfies with the blackened tower in the background. This picture was taken in July

A month after the tragedy tourists were posing for selfies with the blackened tower in the background. This picture was taken in July

Coach provider BM Coaches confirmed the driver had been suspended and the tour guide sent back to China.

James Buckingham, operations director at BM Coaches, told the MailOnline: ‘I would like to apologise most sincerely on behalf of BM Coaches & Rental Limited for the insensitive actions of the group we were contracted to supply transportation too.

‘I have checked thoroughly through the itinerary provided by the Tour Company and this was an unauthorised visit and as such the company will take the strongest possible action against the driver concerned.

‘Such behaviour is completely against the philosophy with which we run our business.’

BM Coaches has also made a donation to the Grenfell Fund as an apology.

This is the latest example of so-called grief tourism, with scores of people travelling to the tower in order to snap selfies.

The trend has been slammed by locals who accused visitors to Grenfell of turning it into a tourist site.

Speaking in the days after the fire, Lorraine Warrington, who has lived on the nearby Silchester estate her entire life, said: ‘This is not the time or place to take selfies – in front of a tower block where my friends passed away.’

And at last month’s Notting Hill Carnival, police were forced to erect a ‘ring of care’ around Grenfell to stop people taking pictures of the tower.

By KEIRAN SOUTHERN
DailyMail

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