London tower toll rises to 79

Danny Woods
June 19, 2017

"What is important for me is to find answers for those families who have been directly affected", he said.

But public anger has been swelling, with furious residents heckling May and storming the local authority headquarters on Friday.

Dozens of police officers had to hold back angry crowds and break up scuffles as her auto drove off afterwards. They also expressed anger that the prime minister did not meet with survivors or victims of the fire when she initially visited the neighborhood following the tragedy.

Victims met the Prime Minister at Number 10 on Saturday evening and man representing the group said they had spoken about their "demands and what we expect".

The area surrounding the tower has been plastered by distraught relatives with pictures of the missing, from grandparents to young children. Large numbers of volunteers are assisting survivors.

Following a meeting of the Grenfell Tower task-force on Saturday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced that a "London-wide local authority recovery operation" was established Friday in response to the devastating fire. "Something's gone drastically wrong", Communities and Local Government Minister Sajid Javid told BBC radio.

The PM has ordered a public inquiry into the blaze, as the cladding used to insulate the tower block and the building's safety measures have come under scrutiny.

While 30 people have been confirmed dead, there are fears the death toll could hit hundreds.

At least 30 people have now been confirmed as having died in the fire which tore through the 24-storey apartment block.

Cundy said there may have been other people in the tower who police are not aware of, and that could increase the death toll.

"We as the police, we investigate criminal offences, I am not sitting here and saying there are criminal offences that have been committed, that's why you do an investigation, to establish it", he said.

More than 70 people are unaccounted for, according to media reports, although it was not known whether some of those were among the bodies recovered so far.

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Three short video clips and a handful of still images, released by the Metropolitan Police on Sunday evening, show remnants of appliances coated in ash as sunlight pours in through the glass-less windows.

"Grenfell is where they shove all the people who don't have any choice", said a resident as he watched his home burn.

Twenty-four injured survivors are still being treated, 12 of them in critical care. The upper floors of the block are particularly hazardous due to the damage caused by the fire.

The 23-year-old Alhajali is the only victim of the Grenfell Tower fire to be officially named as the hard process of identifying human remains continues.

"The response of the emergency services, National Health Service, and the community has been heroic", May said in a statement.

Alhajali was a civil engineering student at West London University.

A second victim named Friday was Khadija Saye, a 24-year-old photographer who had exhibited at the Venice Biennale.

Questions are growing about how the flames spread so quickly, engulfing the tower's 120 apartments.

Records have shown that in a renovation a few years ago, the building was re-clad with siding that may have had "a polyethylene core", rather than a more fire-resistant mineral core, as NPR's Frank Langfitt reported.

The building was gutted by a fast-moving fire early Wednesday, claiming at least 58 lives.

The Times newspaper reported that the company that manufactured the cladding also made fire-resistant models that cost fractionally more than the standard version. Cladding was added during the recent renovations.

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