June 28, 2017

London tower fire: Death toll rises to 30, could climb over 100

18 June 2017, 05:22 | Grady King

Queen Elizabeth's birthday message captures UK's solemn national mood

UK PM promises public inquiry into tower fire

"Our whole family will miss Mohammed dearly and he will never be forgotten".

Mrs May has said survivors would be consulted on the terms of reference for the full public inquiry, so they can obtain the answers they are seeking.

In his latest update on the recovery operation, Mr Cundy said a search of the burnt out building in north Kensington had resumed after a brief pause because of fears about the safety of the structure.

Local anger began building Wednesday as the 24-story residential Grenfell Tower block caught fire and was consumed by licking flames in a matter of minutes.

"This is an unprecedented incident", London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton told reporters Wednesday night.

He said: "We investigate criminal matters".

The Labour leader said he was "very concerned" that the probe is not used to "delay any parallel actions which might be taken by interested parties".

In addition to those killed, the blaze injured at least 74 people.

Some people then left the building though others remained inside.

The fire forced residents to flee through black smoke down the single stairwell, jump out of windows or even drop their children from the 120-apartment building.

The commander said video and photographs from inside the "considerably damaged" 24-storey tower are going to be released on Sunday.

"We are in the richest borough in the United Kingdom and in this very borough we have a building where some of the poorest live and the safety measures are totally inadequate", said Mustafa Al Mansur, one of the organisers of the demonstration.

He added: "What did she bring, what useful things did she bring?"

A fire safety expert said that the blaze was "entirely avoidable".

Cundy said police had now managed to get to the top of the tower and had undertaken a first visual search for victims, ahead of later painstaking searches.

Grief has since given way to anger as protests were held in London on Friday by residents demanding more support for those affected by the fire.

"We have colleagues in there as we speak, searching for and recovering those that have died".

"We want it to be able to have interim reports as well", he added.

As NPR's Merrit Kennedy reported, the Grenfell Tower fire has aroused the ire of those who feel it was caused by corporate malfeasance and who feel Prime Minister Theresa May's government is not doing enough to respond.

Fifty-eight people are missing and presumed dead in the Grenfell Tower disaster, the officer in charge of the investigation said.

"We need to know what commitment the council is taking to ensure this tragedy is not repeated", he said.

Protesters in London accused authorities of suppressing the true death toll, an idea that has spread on social media.

No further survivors are expected to be found and criticism continues to mount for Prime Minister Theresa May's response to the tragedy.

Downing Street also announced a £5 million fund for emergency supplies, food and clothing.

The package includes a guarantee to rehouse people as close as practically possible to where they previously lived, either in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea or in neighbouring boroughs.

The local Grenfell Action Group had claimed, before and during a major 10-million-pound refurbishment of Grenfell Tower previous year, that the block constituted a fire risk and residents had warned that access to the site for emergency vehicles was "severely restricted".

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