London apartment fire: Rage as death toll climbs to at least 58

Marco Green
June 19, 2017

Meanwhile, dozens of people erupted into Kensington and Chelsea town hall to protest the lack of response following the fire.

The Guardian newspaper reported that contractors installed a cheaper, less flame-resistant type of panelling in the renovation that ended in May 2016.

Commander Stuart Cundy said they had been able to remove the remains of only 12 victims from the building. This includes the 30 fatalities confirmed so far.

Officials said Friday they are doing everything they can to relocate those displaced by the tower.

Police say at least 58 people are missing and presumed dead since the fire, but the figure could still rise.

"It really devastated me", he said.

He reiterated there is a police investigation underway and that it will look at how the fire spread.

Commander Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan Police told a press conference the number may change but those believed to have died when the London tower block went up in flames is now in double figures. He asked anyone who was in the tower and survived to contact police immediately.

Mr Cundy has warned the search and recovery operation is going to take a "significant" amount of time - with both the police and the London Fire Brigade saying it will take weeks to complete.

"The work to search the building is challenging, but naturally could never be done quickly enough for those now having to live with the uncertainty of knowing where their loved ones are".

British Prime Minister Theresa May has faced criticism for not meeting survivors in the immediate aftermath of the major fire, which has rendered hundreds homeless, unlike Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and London mayor Sadiq Khan who met with the locals on their site visits. "Sadly, we do not expect any survivors". "You have to be prepared to receive people's emotions, and not be so frightened about people", he said.

Residents of the destroyed tower said May was far too slow to visit the stricken community, that the building had been unsafe and that officials have failed to give enough information and support to those who have lost relatives and their homes.

The British police fired a stun gun at a man who reached for a knife as he ran towards officers at one of the gates to the Westminster parliament in central London yesterday, witnesses said. They say they will also use visual elements like tattoos and scars, in the painstaking process. "In recent months, the country has witnessed a succession of awful tragedies".

She said it was "difficult to escape a very sombre mood".

"The prime minister is this morning chairing a cross-government meeting to ensure everything possible is being done to support those affected by the Grenfell tragedy", the spokesman said.

Scuffles broke out near the Kensington and Chelsea town hall offices Friday as demonstrators chanting "We want justice!" surged toward the doors.

May, criticized in the first few days after the blaze for failing to meet with victims, says the public inquiry looking into the tragedy will report directly to her.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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