London mayor at church near London fire tragedy

Elias Hubbard
June 19, 2017

Although police did not speculate on the eventual number of fatalities, local community sources say at least 70 from Grenfell Tower are still missing, including entire families.

Experts believe the exterior cladding, which contained insulation, helped spread the flames quickly along the outside of the tower in the Wednesday morning blaze that has killed at least 58 people.

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

The Prime Minister has become the target of anger over her response to the disaster, which has left 58 people presumed dead.

Trade Minister Greg Hands said the government is carrying out an "urgent inspection" of the roughly 2,500 similar tower blocks across Britain to assess their safety, while an opposition lawmaker urged the government to quickly secure documents in the Grenfell renovation for the criminal probe.

Trade Minister Greg Hands and Treasury chief Philip Hammond said in separate TV appearances that the cladding used on Grenfell seems to be prohibited by British regulations.

Hands cautioned Sunday that investigators still don't know exactly what cladding was used when the building renovation was completed a year ago.

The company behind the renovation also reportedly used banned, flammable cladding on the building's exterior to cut costs and make it more aesthetically attractive for neighbors in the Kensington and Chelsea borough, one of the UK's richest areas.

"Government is making money available, we are ensuring we are going to get to the bottom of what happened, we will ensure that people are rehoused, but we need to make sure that that actually happens".

But the visits, which took place more than 48 hours after the devastating fire broke out, have done little to quell the growing anger over the way Mrs May has dealt with the tragedy.

A firefighter stands outside of the Grenfell Tower after fire engulfed the 24-storey building, in London.

"When the truth comes out about this tragedy, we may find that there is blood on the hands of a number of organisations", Lammy said.

Police have said criminal prosecutors will be pursued if there is evidence of wrongdoing. He has not provided details about the inquiry.

Speaking after attending a local church service in memory of the victims, he said the fire was "a national disaster that requires a national response".

"Residents feel like they were treated as second-class citizens because they are poor & their warnings were ignored".

The Government has also announced that a minute's silence will be held for the victims at 11am tomorrow.

Photos released by London's Metropolitan Police show the destruction caused by last week's deadly inferno.

May chaired a government task force on the disaster at 10 Downing Street early Saturday before meeting a delegation of residents, victims, volunteers and community leaders at her office. She also says she will receive daily reports from the stricken neighborhood.

The Government's £5 million emergency fund is already being spent on clothing and food to help the dispossessed and NHS London will provide counselling and bereavement support to families.

Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy has addressed media in west London this afternoon and while he didn't confirm an updated death toll, which now stands at 30, he said 58 missing people were likely dead.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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