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

58 people presumed dead in London tower inferno

58 people presumed dead in London tower inferno

The new exterior cladding used in a renovation on London's Grenfell Tower may have been banned under United Kingdom building regulations, two British ministers said Sunday as police continued their criminal investigation into the inferno that killed at least 58 people.

"I think there has to be a law change to put sprinklers in high-rise buildings, and if they had been fitted in Grenfell Tower they would undoubtedly have saved lives", Mr Burns told the Belfast Telegraph. The death toll is expected to rise. "So that 58 would include that 30", Cundy said.

Cundy said the police investigation into the blaze would look at the building and its refurbishment in 2016 and vowed to prosecute people "if there is evidence".

The meeting is unlikely to quell complaints that May has been slow to reach out to fire survivors, despite her announcement of a $6.4 million emergency fund to help displaced families.

"I also believe that the cladding on the outside of Grenfell Tower is partly to blame".

Prime Minister Theresa May, criticized in the first few days after the blaze for failing to meet with victims, says the public inquiry looking into the tragedy will report directly to her.

The type of plastic-filled exterior cladding implicated in the rapid spread of the deadly London tower fire is permitted in Ontario on buildings under seven storeys.

Aluminium composite panels are used to add insulation and to make a building more attractive, and consist of two metal panels sandwiching an inner material such as polyethylene, which was reportedly the case at Grenfell Tower.

Eleanor Kelly, chief executive of Southwark Council, on behalf of the newly established Grenfell Fire Response Team, said: "We want to make clear that whilst the emergency and local community response was nothing short of heroic, we know that the initial response was simply not good enough on the ground".

The investigation into the cause of the fire that has now been extinguished will take weeks, he added. "It becomes hard to shelter-in-place when you have no engineered fire protection systems within a building".

Each family whose home was destroyed in the Grenfell Tower fire will receive at least £5,500 from the Government, it has been announced.

He says it may be necessary for numerous outmoded tower blocks built in the 1970s to be demolished because of safety concerns.

"We have colleagues in there as we speak, searching for and recovering those that have died".

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

"Kensington is one of the richest areas, how did they allow this negligence?"

The 91-year-old monarch said that Britain remains "resolute in the face of adversity" after the horrendous fire and recent extremist attacks in London and Manchester. The public is also demanding answers about how the blaze spread so quickly amid reports that the recently-renovated building's exterior paneling fueled the flames.

Between 50 and 60 people stormed Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall as members of the public said the homeless needed help "right now".

The tragedy has provoked a big response from nearby communities that have donated food and shelter to the victim.

He says tower residents who survived fear a cover-up will keep the truth from coming out.

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 bad has happened".

Two neighbouring Tube lines are to be partly suspended into a second day amid safety concerns of debris falling on to the tracks. More than 3 million pounds ($3.8 million) have been raised for the victims.

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