58 presumed dead in London tower fire


The police said yesterday that at least 58 people are now missing and presumed dead in the fire. "Of that 79, we have formally identified five people", Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said at a press briefing, adding that the tally could change.

Reports suggest that a renovation project on Grenfell Tower a year ago intentionally did not include safety devices such as sprinklers and doors created to keep the fire from spreading. In an interview on Saturday, May admitted that the government's response to the disaster was "not good enough" as she announced a fast-tracked public inquiry into the fire promised to provide increased aid to help survivors cope and find alternative housing.

"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".

But Mr Paget-Brown said: "There's an effective, coordinated relief effort on the ground and I'm sorry if people haven't seen that".

Kate Taylor, who lives about 3 miles from the tower, said she joined the protest to show solidarity with the victims, and said she agreed with the shouts of "Tories out".

He said it had been "incredibly emotional working in there" and described his shock at the devastation he had witnessed inside the building.

Residents demanded that Cundy explain why more information had not been released on the numbers missing and why more identities had not been confirmed.

Hundreds of people marched from Kensington town hall toward the gutted tower on Friday evening, some brandishing Socialist Worker Party placards emblazoned with slogans including "Defy Tory Rule" and "no justice, no peace" and 'the rich, the rich, we've got to get the rich'.

He also pointed out that dozens of tower blocks across London built in the 1960s and 1970s, like Grenfell Tower, may have failed to comply with current standards.

Police say the harrowing search for remains had paused Friday because of safety concerns at the blackened tower but has resumed.

Officials are using dental records, fingerprints and DNA samples to try and positively identify victims.

Engineering experts and fire safety specialists believe the building's exterior cladding may have quickly fueled the blaze, overwhelming fire protection devices. British officials have ordered a review of other buildings that have had similar renovations.

'This was a huge, sudden disaster, a complete tragedy and no one borough alone would be able to deal with the scale of it'.

"We were aware the place was filling up with more and more smoke, we were not supposed to be starting off in smoky environments but there wasn't a safe zone to go to". There is ample food and water but very little privacy or proper bedding, and with the tower destroyed, no one knows where they will be relocated or for how long.

The statement comes as Transport for London partially closed two Tube lines because of London Fire Brigade (LFB) saying there was a "short-term risk of some debris falling on to the tracks". They say their complaints were ignored - and fear it was because the tower was full of poor people in a hugely wealthy neighborhood.