London tower block fire protesters storm town hall


Londoners directed more of their anger toward Prime Minister Theresa May, who they say did not visit victims soon enough, instead choosing to meet with fire crews and police.

Dozens of police officers held back booing crowds and broke up scuffles as her vehicle drove off from local church, where she had met survivors, residents and volunteers and promised new funds for those affected.

Scuffles broke out near the building, with demonstrators chanting "we want justice" as they surged toward the doors.

Choucair has added her own posters, appealing for help in finding her mother, sister Nadia and her husband Bassem, and their three children; Mierna, 14, Fatima, 11, and 3-year-old Zayneb.

Activists shut down the streets of west London as they staged a march demanding justice for the victims of the Grenfell Tower inferno. "Once our housing people have looked at this in greater detail we will be issuing a new statement".

"Sadly, it is expected that the total will rise and it is not expected that any survivors will be found", he said. "We need to know exactly the number of people who were there during this tragedy". Authorities say 24 people remain in hospital, 12 of whom are in critical care.

Firefighters were using drones and sniffer dogs to search the building, as some of the upper floors have not yet been made safe.

In Leeds, which has 116 blocks, the council is carrying out a review of fire safety in all blocks as a matter of urgency, but reassuring residents adequate checks are already in place.

"She was a friend of a lot of people".

"It's hugely important for families to stay in the local area".

Another complicating factor is that much of the DNA material that would normally be used to help pinpoint victims like toothbrushes or combs were probably also incinerated in the blaze. "Even if we get some DNA, the question will be, do we have anything to compare it to?" said Denise Syndercombe Court, a forensic science expert at King's College London.

While the disaster has prompted an outpouring of generosity, there was also anger at politicians as the charred tower was cast as a deadly symbol of a divided society.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May is rushed away under heavy police guard after she met residents who live near a tower block in London where at least 30 people died in a fire.

But accusations of a slow official response have heaped pressure on the premier, whose Conservative government remains in limbo after losing its parliamentary majority in last week's election.

Earlier on Friday, residents heckled Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the House of Commons and a former challenger for the Tory leadership, when she arrived in the area.

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, London mayor Sadiq Khan, Prince William and Queen Elizabeth, 91, have all visited residents from the tower which housed around 600 people.

The firm said the cladding panels, which are not manufactured by Harley Facades, are a commonly used product in the refurbishment industry.

Barwell had told lawmakers that the government meant to review fire safety standards following a deadly blaze at the Lakanal House high-rise building in south London in 2009, in which three women and three children died.

"I have friends in the tower and they are not telling us anything", Salwa Buamani, a protester, told AFP.

"This [tragedy] happened in England, in London, in the 21st century", he told Al Jazeera.

"I'm just hoping that they are in hospital, they've made it through the stairway, got out".

Al Jazeera's Laurence Lee, reporting from the neighbourhood, said residents were also suspicious of the government's pledge to hold an inquiry.

"They suspect it's a delaying tactic".

The authority said it was "confident" the cladding is of a correct standard, but will undergo urgent checks with manufacturers.

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