58 people missing and presumed dead in London fire

Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy speaks to the media near Grenfell Tower after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building in London Saturday

Some fire officials said they had never seen a building fire move so quickly.

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

Between 50 and 60 people stormed Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall as members of the public demanded the council, which owned the tower blocks, to give reassurances to the victims.

The death toll of the London tower block fire has risen to 58, police said yesterday.

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

"I have heard the concerns and I have ordered immediate action across the board to help victims' relatives and the survivors", she said.

Commander Stuart Cundy said the fire damage verged on "indescribable".

He said they would be looking at whether anyone could be charged with manslaughter following a litany of failings that led to the disaster - in which at least at least 58 people are now feared to have been killed.

London Police's investigation remains on-going, as fire crews continue the grim and slow task of identifying and recovering bodies from inside the tower.

The first secretary of State in her Cabinet, the equivalent of deputy PM, Damien Green came to her defence. He asked anyone who was in the tower and survived to contact police immediately.

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.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May has been criticized for her slowness in visiting the victims of the fire - her visits took place more than 48 hours after the fire broke out - and refusal to answer questions about government oversights that might have increased the deadly nature of the blaze.

The group said: "In our meeting at Downing Street, we explained to the Prime Minister the anger of all residents towards the management of the estate over a long period of time, paving the way to this tragedy".

Ms May today announced a $NZ8.8 million fund following meeting with survivors of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

But the identification of the victims appears to be proving very hard, which experts attribute to the extreme heat of the fire.

Mr Cundy vowed police "will get to the answer of what has happened and why", adding: "If criminal offences have been committed it is us who will investigate that".

David Lammy said Sunday he is anxious that documents will be quietly deleted and disposed of as police begin a search for evidence. This relies on dental records, fingerprints and DNA when possible and also features like tattoos or scars. "It may well be the defining outcome of this tragedy that the worst mistakes of the 1960s and 1970s are systematically torn down", he said.

"It is hard to escape a very sombre national mood", she said in a message marking the event.

There is simmering anger in the multi-ethnic north Kensington area hit by the blaze, and public fury has been directed at senior government figures, including May, who was jeered Friday after she visited.

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

Survivors of the building claim that cheap materials for the cladding and a lack of maintenance on the building were to blame for the fatal fire.

The cladding was also "directly associated" with a fast-moving fire that engulfed a 21-story high-rise in Australia in 2014, an investigation found - but that building did have sprinklers, and all the residents made it out alive.

Related:

Comments


Other news