Police are being investigated over whether their helicopters fanned the flames during the Grenfell Tower disaster.
A man who lost six relatives in the disaster said their downdraft may have intensified the inferno, which claimed 71 lives.
The independent police watchdog is also examining whether the presence of the aircraft gave trapped families false hope as they circled the building.
Some survivors suspect others may have stayed behind or raced to the roof because they believed they could be plucked to safety.
Sarah Green, of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, said there is ‘no indication of any police misconduct’ but decided an investigation is ‘appropriate’. She said it would be carried out by Metropolitan Police officers under the direction of the watchdog to ‘avoid duplication of work’.
A man who lost six relatives in the disaster said their downdraft may have intensified the inferno, which claimed 71 lives
Nabil Choucair lost his sister Nadia, 29, in the fire along with his mother, Sirria, 60, Nadia’s husband Bassem Choucair, 38, and their three children, Mierna, 13, Fatima, 11, and Zainab, three.
He complained after seeing a heartbreaking photograph of a woman waving a sheet from the west London tower block. He believes she was his sister. The family was trapped in their flat on the 22nd floor of the building and made a series of harrowing 999 calls for help.
In his official complaint, Mr Choucair said he believed the downdraft from the helicopters fanned the flames, worsening the fire.
He also believes the presence of police helicopters led to a ‘cruel and tortuous’ hope they might be saved despite the fact they were only being used to oversee the rescue effort. Experts say a helicopter would not have been able to land on top of the burning building due to the smoke and heat.
Speaking in September, Mr Choucair said: ‘It made a big impact because they were living in hope that the helicopter was a rescue helicopter.
‘So on the day, on the night, people were going up and down. And simply the reason they were going up was when they heard the helicopter and when they saw it. They thought, “great, they’re coming to rescue us”, rather than going down when they should have been.’
Mr Choucair said that having listened to the 999 calls made by his family, he believes they were under the impression a helicopter would rescue them.
Other relatives have also claimed some Grenfell residents were told to head to the roof and wait for a helicopter rescue. Shakila Neda, 55, claimed between 35 and 40 people told her they were directed by the fire brigade to head upwards.
But London Fire Brigade insists it does not use helicopters for rescues during high-rise tower fires.
Announcing the investigation, which runs alongside a criminal inquiry, public inquiry and inquest, Mrs Green said: ‘In the months since the horrifying fire at Grenfell Tower, there has rightly been a determination that all aspects of the tragedy should be properly scrutinised in the interests of survivors, the families of those who died and the wider public.’
Chief Superintendent Tyron Joyce of the National Police Air Service said it is ‘entirely right’ that the circumstances of the use of helicopters is ‘thoroughly examined’.
Other relatives have also claimed some Grenfell residents were told to head to the roof and wait for a helicopter rescue