London stages Notting Hill Carnival, Europe’s biggest street party

London stages Notting Hill Carnival, Europe's biggest street party
Notting Hill Carnival transformed the streets of west London into a sea of colour and sound on Monday as hundreds of thousands of revellers joined Europe’s biggest street party.
The carnival featured drum bands, dance troupes and elaborate floats, with the crowds dancing through the streets, as they have done since it first began in the 1960s.

But the party fell silent for 72 seconds to honour the 72 people who died in nearby Grenfell Tower fire last year.

Musicians dressed in vibrant colours set down their instruments in a mark of respect and sound systems that had been booming out Caribbean and other music were briefly turned off.

The fire, Britain’s deadliest on domestic premises since World War Two, swept through the 24-storey tower in the early hours of June 14, 2017.

It is now the subject of a public inquiry and a separate police investigation that could result in criminal charges. The tragedy has come to symbolise a yawning gap between the haves and have-nots in modern Britain.

Although the tower block was located in one of the wealthiest areas of Britain, it housed many poorer people, some from ethnic minorities, and raised difficult questions about social housing, building regulations and fire safety rules.

The Notting Hill Carnival, whose route passes near the site of the fire, is a symbol of interracial tolerance which celebrates the Afro-Caribbean community.

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