Death Toll From London Blaze Rises to 30, Dozens Missing, Authorities Criticised

Jun 19, 2017, 00:13

Protesters gathered to call for help for the residents of the burned building, and the BBC reports that dozens of people "stormed Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall with a list of demands".

Metropolitan Police commander Stuart Cundy has said that there are still some bodies in Grenfell tower but conditions have been too hazardous to retrieve them.

Weakened by a botched election gamble last week, May has been criticized for her muted response to the fire and had to be rushed away from a meeting with residents on Friday under heavy police guard as protesters shouted "Shame on you".

The police said 30 people are known to have died in the blaze that started just before 1am on Wednesday, but the total may exceed at least 70 people remain unaccounted for.

Two British ministers say the cladding used in a renovation of Grenfell Tower may have been banned under United Kingdom building regulations.

Prime Minister Theresa May has faced criticism for failing to meet survivors when she visited the scene yesterday.

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Meanwhile, experts have said sprinklers could have been fitted in the tower but Nick Paget-Brown, the Tory leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, said there was not a "collective view" among residents in favour of installing them.

Fire safety engineers were stunned at how rapidly the fire spread, engulfing the building in less than an hour in the middle of the night and preventing firefighters from reaching many people inside.

"The local community feels their grief has been made worse by the lack of information about their missing family members and friends", he wrote.

Residents who escaped the Grenfell Tower fire spoke of the cladding going "up like a matchstick". I believe we need to ask questions about what facilities and resources have been given to local authorities that have tower blocs in the area and, frankly, most do.

She later announced a public inquiry into the fire and promise that those left homeless would be rehoused nearby.

One furious resident told reporters: "I want her to come out her and face us".

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However, the death toll is expected to increase as chances are bleak that any survivors will be found alive.

Afterwards, the prime minister's vehicle was chased by protesters unhappy with the government's response to the tragedy. London police expect the toll to rise but it could take months to search the building and identify the victims. According to The Times newspaper, contractors opted not to use fire-resistant cladding when insulating the tower.

The public is also demanding answers about how the blaze spread so quickly amid reports that the recently-renovated building's exterior panelling fuelled the flames. They say their complaints were ignored - and fear it was because the tower was full of poor people in a hugely wealthy neighbourhood.

British officials say they are helping the Syrian family of the first officially confirmed victim of the London tower blaze to come to Britain.

A pledge to rehome all those displaced by the fire within three weeks at the most, and as close as practically possible to where they had been living.

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