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ibusinesslines.com December 16, 2017


London tower fire: 58 people confirmed or presumed dead, says London Police

20 June 2017, 10:02 | Erica Roy

Police assume that dozens of residents who went missing after Wednesday's fire are dead.

Earlier, Commander Stuart Cundy said police would examine whether criminal offences had been committed although there was nothing to suggest the massive blaze at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in West London on Wednesday was started deliberately.

She also claimed that the rescue centres maintained no formal records of those that had attended, and even said one hospital told her they were unable to say whether Mr Alhajali was there for confidentiality reasons.

Prime minister Theresa May's government earlier sought to quell anger over the disaster, pledging to support the victims after protesters jeered her when she visited residents.

There was a large police presence as Mrs May met a group of victims, residents, volunteers and community leaders at St Clement's Church close to the scene of the horrific blaze on Friday afternoon.

May, who on Thursday met emergency services at the fire site but did not meet locals, visited residents, volunteers and community leaders at a nearby church on Friday and was rushed away afterwards by police as an angry crowd outside shouted "Coward" and "You're not wanted".

Experts said the intensity of Wednesday's fire at the 24-story building will make naming victims extremely hard, drawing comparisons to the 2001 World Trade Center terror attacks in NY, where 40 percent of the victims were never identified.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Theresa May admitted that support for families in the "initial hours" was "not good enough".

She also pledged 5 million pounds of support, housing guarantees and help with access to bank accounts and cash.

Those who lost their homes would be rehoused within three weeks, she said.

They cited a series of unanswered issues, including whether the cladding used on the building helped the blaze to spread.


"What I'm now absolutely focused on is ensuring that we get that support on the ground", May said in a BBC Newsnight interview.

Scuffles broke out near the Kensington and Chelsea town hall offices on Friday as demonstrators chanting "We want justice!" surged toward the doors. She added that "this was a awful tragedy".

"We've always been advocates of automatic fire sprinkler protection in tall tower blocks and they work - people don't die in sprinkler buildings", he said.

Told there was a need for the public to hear her say something had gone badly wrong and the Government accepted responsibility, Mrs May said: "Something awful has happened".

She said it was "difficult to escape a very sombre mood".

Queen Elizabeth, 91, and her grandson Prince William also visited residents and emergency workers on Friday.

The fire has come at a particularly hard time for Prime Minister Theresa May, who was weakened by the loss of her parliamentary majority in a June 8 election and faces arduous talks on Britain's exit from the European Union.

"Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity", the queen wrote in her message.

"In the wake of (the) Grenfell fire we have to recognize that something has gone badly, badly wrong in this country, that predominantly poor people die in a towering inferno because possibly in the long term (there had been a) lack of public investment", Corbyn told ITV's Peston on Sunday program.

In the fire's aftermath, the London Underground on Saturday suspended subway service between Edgware Road and Hammersmith on two lines at the request of the London Fire Brigade.

There are questions about why the block was not fitted with sprinklers or a central smoke alarm, as well as whether the recent refurbishment - including the use of cladding that was blamed for worsening previous building fires in France, the United Arab Emirates and Australia - helped fuel the flames.



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