Death toll rises to at least 58 in London tower blaze

Modesto Morganelli
Giugno 19, 2017

The fire has also been transformed into a symbol of class inequality - the Grenfell Tower's charred remains stand high above one of the British capital's wealthiest neighborhoods.

"I thought the way they expressed themselves with a mixture of passion and reason was fantastic, and I hope it's the beginning of a process, not the end of a process, the beginning of a process of real listening between government, RBKC [the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council], local residents, that will bring about lasting change".

Trade Minister Greg Hands said the government is carrying out an "urgent inspection" of the roughly 2,500 similar tower blocks across Britain to assess their safety.

But a clergyman who was present at the No 10 meeting said Mrs May showed empathy as she talked for two and half hours to survivors.

Only one victim has been formally identified so far: 23-year-old Syrian refugee Mohammad Alhajali.

She said: "Frankly, the support on the ground for families who needed help or basic information in the initial hours after this appalling disaster was not good enough".

There are questions about why the block was not fitted with sprinklers or a central smoke alarm, as well as whether the recent refurbishment - including the use of cladding that was blamed for worsening previous building fires in France, the United Arab Emirates and Australia - helped fuel the flames.

Investigators probing the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed at least 30 people and possibly dozens more, are looking at whether an exterior cladding recently installed during renovations on the West London residential building allowed the fire to leap to other floors.

Grenfell residents said after the meeting at Downing Street that they had spoken to the PM about their demands and what they expected.

She said phone lines would be better staffed and more staff would be deployed in the area.

"Let's get the technical advice properly evaluated by a public inquiry and then let's decide how to go forward".

She said she has ordered daily progress reports on housing for those affected, and vowed the public inquiry into the disaster will be "open and transparent".

On Saturday afternoon, hundreds of protesters gathered in Whitehall, to call for her resignation. Her First Secretary of State, Damian Green, defended the prime minister, saying she was as "distraught as we all are".

Theresa May has also announced a £5m fund which will be made available to pay for emergency supplies, food, clothes and other costs. We must also prepare people for the awful reality that some people may not be identified due to the intensity of the fire.

Mr Khan said the images of the 24-storey building being ravaged by fire "should be forever seared into our nation's collective memory".

The Hammersmith and City Line has been suspended between Edgware Road and Hammersmith, and the Circle Line is also closed, Transport for London said.

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