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

UK police: 58 confirmed or presumed dead after London blaze

UK police: 58 confirmed or presumed dead after London blaze

And as NPR's Frank Langfitt in London, police are hoping that the death toll will not reach the triple digits.

"The figure of 30 that I gave yesterday is the number that I know, sadly, have, at least, died".

Of the 58, he said 30 were confirmed dead.

As NPR's Merrit Kennedy reported, the Grenfell Tower fire has aroused the ire of those who feel it was caused by corporate malfeasance and who feel Prime Minister Theresa May's government is not doing enough to respond.

May was rushed away from a meeting with residents on Friday under heavy police guard as protesters shouted "Shame on you" and hundreds stormed a local town hall calling for justice.

The horrific fire early Wednesday morning has put increased pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May and her senior ministers at a time when her authority has been weakened by an election that saw her Conservative Party lost its majority in Parliament.

Asked repeatedly whether she had misread the public mood, May did not answer directly but said the focus was on providing support to the victims. "It is our fault, '" Emily Maitlis said to May in an interview.

London mayor Sadiq Khan has called for re-housing efforts to be "speeded up" and pressed Mrs May to make sure "the recovery operation receives all resources and expertise they need".

May said after the meeting Saturday that there have been "huge frustrations" in the community as people tried to get information.

A group of Grenfell victims have visited Downing Street today and were in talks with May this afternoon.

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".

She said that the government has begun distributing funds from a $6.4 emergency fund created to assist victims of the blaze, and housing officials are conducting safety checks of other public high-rise towers in London.

"We're all desperately sad, we're all angry, but of course none of us as angry as those who were directly affected".

"This is an absolutely bad fire that took place".

The area surrounding the council-owned tower has been plastered by desperate relatives with pictures of the missing, from grandparents to young children, and large numbers of volunteers were assisting survivors.

While the blaze has prompted an outpouring of generosity, with many people donating provisions and clothes, it has also unleashed rage at the authorities as the charred tower was cast as a deadly symbol of a deeply divided society.

In a statement, the Queen praised Britons for staying "resolute in the face of adversity" after three terror attacks and the Kensington fire.

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

Speaking on Friday evening, Mrs May said: "Everyone affected by this tragedy needs reassurance that the Government is there for them at this bad time - and that is what I am determined to provide".

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