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


At the moment, police said 16 bodies have been recovered.

London's ambulance service said at least 18 people were in critical condition. British media have reported that contractors installed a cheaper, less flame-resistant type of exterior paneling on the 24-story tower in a renovation that was completed just past year.

Fifty-eight people are "missing and presumed dead" following the fire at Grenfell Tower, police have confirmed. It may take longer than that.

"As I've said before, I have to presume if people are missing that they are dead".

That's partly to avoid repeated, unnecessary evacuations that cause people eventually to ignore such orders when they really matter.

London's Metropolitan Police confirmed Friday they had launched a criminal investigation into the incident.

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With blackened rubble strewn across the floor and exposed pipes, one room is unrecognisable as a home until a bath and sink come into view - the dividing wall destroyed completely by the fire. He asked anyone who was in the tower and survived to contact police immediately.

Police Commander Stuart Cundy says police will seek criminal prosecutions if the evidence warrants.

In his latest update on the recovery operation, Mr Cundy said a search of the burnt out building in north Kensington had resumed after a brief pause because of fears about the safety of the structure.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday said that support for families in the immediate aftermath of the Grenfell Tower disaster was "not good enough".

"We're all desperately sad", said Green, who was appointed May's deputy in the wake of the general election.

May announced on Friday that her government has set up a £5 million ($8.4 million Cdn) "discretionary fund" to help pay for food, clothing, personal supplies and funerals. The rules vary from place to place, as does advice about when to evacuate, but fire experts say the "shelter-in-place" directive is usually applied to buildings of 15 stories or more.

58 people missing and presumed dead after London tower fire
People cast shadows as they read a message board placed near Grenfell Tower in London , Saturday, June 17, 2017 . They say they will also use visual elements like tattoos, scars and medical implants in the painstaking process.

'The identification process as I've explained before is to worldwide disaster identification standards meaning we are relying on dental records, finger prints or DNA.

The tragedy cast a pall on the Trooping the Color festivities that mark the official birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. The job's contractor has said the work met all fire standards.

"It is hard to escape a very sombre national mood", Elizabeth said in a message on her official birthday.

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 scanty and efforts to find temporary housing have faltered.

Four ministers over several years were told of the risk of fires spreading on the outside of buildings with cladding, according to Panorama. British officials have ordered a review of other buildings that have had similar renovations.

She added: "The response of the emergency services, NHS and the community has been heroic". More than 3 million pounds ($3.8 million) have been raised for the victims. Many questions also center on the speed at which the fire spread.

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What makes the London fire maddening for fire experts who believe in the "stay put" rule is that the Grenfell may have lacked numerous safety redundancies necessary to make it work.