Death toll in London tower fire rises to 58

Pauline Gross
June 20, 2017

Sixteen bodies have been removed from the blackened, 24-story public housing unit, and the first victim was formally identified as Mohammed Alhajali, 23, a Syrian refugee.

Meanwhile, according to the Associated Press, Trade Minister Greg Hands said Sunday that the government is carrying out an "urgent inspection" of the roughly 2,500 similar tower blocks across Britain to assess their safety, while an opposition lawmaker urged the government to quickly secure documents in the Grenfell renovation for the criminal investigation.

The total death toll in Grenfell fire is feared to reach up to three-figure numbers. At least 30 people have been killed, hundreds of others have been left homeless and dozens of others are missing.

Fire safety experts believe that cladding put on the building's exterior during a renovation previous year was less fire retardant, which may have fueled the blaze.

Khan said images of the 1970's building being ravaged by fire "should be forever seared into our nation's collective memory".

In her official birthday message, Queen Elizabeth II, who visited the area on Friday, reflected on the "sombre national mood" following tragedies in London and Manchester in recent weeks.

The announcement by a spokesman comes a day after May was heckled during a visit to the west London neighbourhood where Wednesday's inferno took place. "People have lost their lives, people have had their homes destroyed, they have fled for their lives with absolutely nothing".

She also said the government had now contacted all local authorities in England asking them to identify any safety concerns in light of the tragedy.

Pressed again on whether she had failed to understand the anger felt by the public, she said: "This was a bad tragedy that took place".

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Footage from inside the gutted building has been released, showing the extent of the damage. Since their block was evacuated she had slept in several places, including her vehicle .

"I know that they are looking at us to save them".

"But it is a awful tragedy".

Metropolitan Police said family liaison officers have been deployed to support 52 families of residents who died, were injured or were reported missing.

"What I'm now absolutely focused on is ensuring that we get that support on the ground". But we may well need help from our close neighbours.

Many in the United Kingdom are upset with Prime Minister Theresa May for her response - or lack thereof - to the Grenfell Tower fire.

"The government has taken action on the recommendations of the coroner's report", she insisted.

"Now, in other words, we have to build in safety and resilience into our society through the state".

May did not support a proposal put forward by Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, to seize unoccupied properties to rehouse survivors of the fire, the spokeswoman said.

He said the community in north Kensington, west London, was "frustrated and, yes, angry". "In recent months, the country has witnessed a succession of awful tragedies".

Other reports by GizPress

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