London fire: 58 presumed dead in Grenfell Tower blaze, say police

Jay Anderson
June 19, 2017

Building officials have not commented since the fire. 16 bodies have been recovered from the Tower and taken to a mortuary.

The latest news from the West London Grenfell Tower fire site list 58 people missing and presumed to be dead, London police Commander Stuart Cundy said on Saturday.

Many are demanding answers for how the blaze spread so quickly. "So that 58 would include that 30", he said. "This is an absolutely very bad fire that took place", May said.

The investigations at Grenfell Tower have led police to believe the "number of people missing, but as yet unaccounted for" has risen from 58, the Metropolitan Police said. "And therefore, sadly, I have to assume that they are dead", he said.

On the lack of sprinklers in Grenfell Tower, and other buildings, he said: "My understanding is that the best expert advice is that retrofitting sprinklers may not always be the best technical way of ensuring fire safety in a building". He asked anyone who was in the tower and survived to contact police immediately.

Prime Minister Theresa May's government earlier sought to quell anger over the fire, pledging to support the victims of the blaze after protesters jeered her when she visited local residents.

"We're all desperately sad, we're all angry, but of course none of us as angry as those who were directly affected, " Green said. In her traditional birthday message, the 91-year-old monarch made a reference to the "succession of awful tragedies", a day after she paid a visit to people affected by the massive Grenfell Tower blaze in west London. They say their complaints were ignored - and fear it was because the tower housed mainly poor people in a hugely wealthy neighbourhood. However, the identification of the other victims is proving very hard - which experts attribute to the extreme heat of the fire.

But local people have contrasted the style of Mrs May's private visit to the scene with those of London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was seen with his arm around the shoulders of people affected by the disaster. This relies on dental records, fingerprints and DNA when possible and also features like tattoos or scars.

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The queen and Philip stood silently before the start of the annual Trooping the Color procession that marks the queen's official birthday. Earlier in the day, the 91-year-old monarch described the country's mood as "somber" but insisted that Britain remained resolute during a hard time.

Prior to the meeting with victims, other residents of the block and volunteer workers, she chaired a meeting of a government task force on the disaster.

Hundreds have been left homeless by the blaze, putting more pressure on officials in a city already plagued by a chronic housing shortage.

On Friday angry protesters chanting "We want justice" stormed their way into the Kensington and Chelsea town hall to try to confront the leaders of the local council.

London firefighters are continuing the grim search after a high-rise fire that killed at least 30 people as public anger about the blaze continues to grow.

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.

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

Other reports by BadHub

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