British police arrest six men over burning of Grenfell Tower effigy

A screenshot shows the Grenfell Tower effigy being placed on the bonfire.
A screenshot shows the Grenfell Tower effigy being placed on the bonfire.SCREENSHOT: TWITTER

LONDON (REUTERS) - British police have arrested six men after a video was posted on the Internet that showed men mocking the deadly Grenfell Tower blaze by burning an effigy of the building as part of Guy Fawkes' Night celebrations.

The video which appeared on social media showed a cardboard model of the tower with cut outs of residents in the windows being set alight on a bonfire while those watching laughed and made jokes.

Grenfell Tower, a social housing block that was home to a close-knit, ethnically diverse community, was engulfed by flames in the middle of the night of June 14, 2017, killing 71 people in the country's deadliest domestic fire since World War II.

"To disrespect those who lost their lives at Grenfell Tower, as well as their families and loved ones, is utterly unacceptable," Prime Minister Theresa May said on Twitter.

Police said the men, whose ages range from 55 to 19, had been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence after handing themselves into a police station in south London.

Across Britain in early November, towns and villages hold annual firework parties and burn effigies of Guy Fawkes, the Roman Catholic plotter who tried to blow up parliament in 1605.

Larger celebrations often burn celebrity figures with effigies of flamboyant ex-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson being torched at a number of events this year while previous targets have included US President Donald Trump.