Minute's silence announced over Grenfell Tower disaster

Ivan Schwartz
June 18, 2017

Police Commander Stuart Cundy said the number of 58 is based on reports from the public and may rise.

Grief turned to outrage Friday over a deadly high-rise tower fire in London amid reports that materials used in the building's renovation could have fueled the inferno that left dozens dead and missing as it decimated the public housing block.

"There are 58 people who we have been told were in Grenfell Tower on the night that are missing and therefore, sadly, I have to assume that they are dead".

Cundy said there may have been other people in the tower that police are not aware of, which would add to the final death toll.

Queen Elizabeth II and her grandson Prince William visited a community centre where some of the survivors are being housed, as anger grows among local residents about allegations that fire safety concerns were ignored for years.

In the burned-out hull of Grenfell Tower, forensic teams and others picked through the wreckage apartment by apartment in the 120-unit tower. "My government will do whatever it takes to help those affected, get justice and keep our people safe", she said.

Highlighting a particularly serious issue at one apartment block, Mr Hollingsworth said: "When we took off the socket in one apartment, I could have pushed the socket into the adjoining property".

Authorities said that they did not expect to find more survivors and that the number of people who are unaccounted for is "unknown".

He also said Omnis had been asked to supply Reynobond PE cladding, which is £2 cheaper per square metre than the alternative Reynobond FR, which stands for "fire resistant" to the companies that worked on refurbishing Grenfell Tower.

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Some residents trapped in the building jumped to their deaths rather than face the flames that morning, and witnesses reported seeing small children thrown from the tower by their families in a desperate bid to save them.

Engineering experts say outside insulation panels installed on the 24-story Grenfell Tower may have helped the fire spread rapidly from one floor to the next.

"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". Nineteen people are still in the hospital, 10 of whom are in critical condition.

Two government ministers - Treasury chief Philip Hammond and Trade Minister Greg Hands - said Sunday the cladding used on the building's exterior seems to be banned by British regulations.

Javid said inspections of similar buildings had been ordered, with particular attention to the modern cladding used to beautify and add an insulation layer to ageing concrete and steel structures.

The tragedy has provoked a huge response from nearby communities. "His dream was to be able to go back home one day and rebuild Syria", the campaign group said.

Protesters are descending on Downing Street chanting "May out" as she becomes the figurehead for much of the outrages.

In its most recent post, published just hours after the fire started, it wrote: "ALL OUR WARNINGS FELL ON DEAF EARS and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time".

"It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO, and bring an end to the risky living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation that they inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders", members of the group said in a blog dated November 2016.

Other reports by GizPress

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