Fears of resident in tower block refurbished by Grenfell cladding contractor

Ruben Ruiz
June 19, 2017

The external use of composite foam insulation is believed to have contributed to the rapid spread of the fire at the residential block in Kensington that has claimed at least 58 lives in the London tragedy, with many more residents still missing.

Although fire services say it could be a while before they know the exact cause of the London blaze, the horrors of what happened have been felt across the country.

As firefighters keep searching the charred ruins of the Grenfell Tower public housing complex with sniffer dogs and drones, Cundy said there was "a risk that, sadly, we may not be able to identify everybody".

One of her closest allies, Damian Green, defended May on Saturday, adding that a team would go to the area to answer questions from residents. Hands cautioned that officials don't yet have exact details about the renovation that ended just past year.

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government told CNN that the use of a composite aluminum panel with a polyethylene core would breach current United Kingdom building regulations guidance, which says this material should not be used as cladding on buildings over 18 meters (59 feet) in height.

"The prime minister needs to act immediately to ensure that all evidence is protected so that everyone culpable for what happened at Grenfell Tower is held to account and feels the full force of the law", Lammy said, suggesting that contractors might be destroying evidence before it is sought by police.

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. More than $3.8 million has been raised for the victims.

He also sidestepped questions over whether he felt guilty about the tragedy, telling BBC Radio 4's The World At One: "I feel awful about the whole position we find ourselves in".

Commander Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan Police warned that the death toll could rise further as authorities continue to search the wreckage. He has not provided details about the inquiry.

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan was in attendance, and told reporters afterwards that some of the stories he'd heard would stay with him "forever".

"There is a feeling from the community of they've been treated badly because some of them are poor, some of them may come from deprived backgrounds, some of them may be asylum seekers and refugees", Khan said.

Having visited residents and volunteers near the tower on Friday with her grandson William, the queen also led a minute's silence in Buckingham Palace on Saturday. Anger among residents has been mounting in recent days, as information about the missing has been scant, and efforts to find temporary housing have faltered.

His remarks came as Nick Paget-Brown, the Tory leader of Kensington and Chelsea council, insisted officials were on the ground "very soon" after the fire broke out following criticism from Prime Minister Theresa May, who said the support given to residents was "not good enough".

Police have said criminal prosecutors will be pursued if there is evidence of wrongdoing.

All of those living in the apartment block who survived the blaze were made homeless by the tragedy, and many have lost loved ones as a result. Counselors are already working with 52 families.

Police have released photos showing the destruction inside Grenfell Tower while warning that the presumed death toll could rise above 58.

The Home Office said late Saturday night it will make arrangements for the family of Mohammad Alhajali to "travel to the U.K.in these terribly sad circumstances". This relies on dental records, fingerprints and DNA when possible and also features like tattoos or scars. Sixteen bodies have been recovered, police said.

Other reports by GizPress

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