58 presumed dead in Grenfell Tower fire in London: Cops

Pauline Gross
June 19, 2017

Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said Thursday of the toll, "I'd like to hope that it isn't going to be triple figures".

The first victim of the Grenfell Tower inferno in London has been named as Syrian refugee Mohammed Alhajali (23), who came to Britain in 2014 and was studying engineering in London. It includes 30 deaths that already have been confirmed, and reports of people who are missing and presumed to have been killed. 16 bodies have been recovered from the Tower and taken to a mortuary.

Scuffles broke out near the Kensington and Chelsea town hall offices as demonstrators chanting "We want justice!" surged toward the doors.

London fire commissioner Dany Cotton said it would be a "miracle" if any survivors were found alive, adding there were "unknown numbers of people" still inside the building.

Grenfell Tower fire missing persons and victims.

On Saturday May spent over two hours meeting residents from the north Kensington area at her Downing Street residence and chaired a meeting on the government's response to the fire.

May has announced a judge-led inquiry into what happened, and on Friday promised a £5 million ($6.4 million, 5.7 million euro) fund for emergency supplies, food and clothing.

One of her closest allies, Damian Green, defended May's seemingly aloof response to the tragedy.

The Prime Minister is facing particular scrutiny over the role of her new chief of staff, Gavin Barwell, who served as housing minister until he lost his seat in last week's snap general election.

Omar - who was with his brother in the flat - survived the fire after they were separated on the way out.

A former home secretary, responsible for policing and domestic security, May added: "Everyone affected by this tragedy needs reassurance that the government is there for them at this awful time - and that is what I am determined to provide".

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In a television interview on Friday, she sidestepped questions over whether she had misread the public mood.

"[This aims] to give the victims the immediate support they need to care for themselves and for loved ones, " May said.

The small protest made its way to Downing Street, May's official residence, where they met a large police presence.

One banner showed a drawing of May with the words "Shame" and "Disgrace".

Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II observed a minute of silence, along with her husband, Prince Philip, before the annual parade marking her official birthday.

Facing flak for not meeting with locals sooner, May was set to visit the injured in hospital yesterday, as pressure mounted on her after a failed poll gamble. "This year, however, it is hard to escape a very somber national mood".

The tragedy in a social housing complex in Britain's wealthiest borough has become a symbol of inequality in the country, stoking tensions after seven years of austerity.

The queen marked her official birthday Saturday by saying Britain remains "resolute in the face of adversity" after the horrendous fire and recent extremist attacks in London and Manchester. "United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favour, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss".

"Wallowing in the wash of a general election that stripped our prime minister of her authority on the very eve of European Union negotiations, neither common sense nor the evidence suggest she can re-establish public confidence", Parris wrote in the Times.

"After a tragedy of truly national dimensions like this, the prime minister can not simply behave like a grey-faced executive at a company who has been confronted by a public relations foul-up".

Other reports by GizPress

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