Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

58 people are presumed dead in Grenfell Tower disaster

"The bodies have been taken to a morgue, but more bodies remain in the building".

London has a chronic housing shortage even in the best of times, and those left homeless by the fire - already angry over what they see as government inequity and incompetence - fear being forced out of the British capital.

Dozens of people attending an angry protest for victims of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy stormed the town hall in London's richest borough on Friday, accusing the authorities of ignoring their plight. But the government has been criticized for failing to act on recommendations from previous tower block fires.

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 previous year.

The protest, organized over social media by a group of people who lost their loved ones in the catastrophe, was held amid a heavy police presence.

Police say at least 58 people are either confirmed or presumed dead, with the figure likely to rise in coming days. They brought us outside.

The cause of Wednesday's blaze is still under investigation, but anger has mounted in the community amid reports that exterior paneling may have spread the flames.

The local authority, which owns the tower block where families rent their homes, says it is doing all it can to support the victims and to help the relief operation. He asked anyone who was in the tower and survived to contact police immediately.

The Queen and her grandson, Prince William, spoke to residents and members of the emergency services near the gutted Grenfell Tower on Friday morning (Saturday NZT), while May's office said she would visit victims in hospital.

Prime Minister Theresa May had to virtually flee the church she visited in order to meet survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire, which has killed 30 people and injured scores of others. The group left after a meeting that lasted more than two hours but did not speak to reporters gathered outside.

Officials said due to the nature of their deaths, it's possible all of the victims of the fire might not be conclusively identified.

The identification of the victims is proving very hard - which experts attribute to the extreme heat of the fire.

London police said an investigation, led by a detective from its homicide and major crime unit, would examine whether criminal offences had been committed although they said there was nothing to suggest the fire was started deliberately.

Police said they are using the INTERPOL Disaster Victim Identification Standards to identify the deceased.

"Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity", she wrote". The queen said it was "difficult to escape a very somber mood" on what is normally a day of celebration. What emerges in the coming weeks and months will be very hard for many people, including politicians and organisations, but we must get to the truth.

The government has promised a full public inquiry, but that has done little to ease a sense of frustration at the lack of information about how the fire moved so quickly to engulf the building.

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