Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

People 'Are Missing,' Presumed Dead After London Tower Blaze


Public anger is mounting as residents and neighbors demand answers for how the blaze early Wednesday spread so quickly and trapped so numerous tower's 600-odd residents. Hands cautioned that officials don't yet have exact details about the renovation that ended just previous year.

The death toll is expected to rise further as rescue workers continue to search for victims - an operation that Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy described as "extremely challenging". "You have to be prepared to receive people's emotions, and not be so frightened about people", he said. "As soon as we can, we will locate and recover loved ones".

"There are 58 people who we have been told were in Grenfell Tower on the night that are missing and therefore, sadly, I have to assume that they are dead".

"I have heard the concerns and I have ordered immediate action across the board to help victims' relatives and the survivors", May said.

May also said that she has set a deadline of three weeks for all the survivors of the Grenfell fire to be placed in new housing.

Police have been struggling to come up with an authoritative list of who was in the building when the fire started, making it hard to determine how many had died.

When asked about the search, Mr Cundy replied that the officers had gone "all the way to the top" of the tower, and explained that the first phase was a visual search.

May is chairing a government task force on the fire and a spokesman says that she will meet afterward with "a group of residents, victims, volunteers and community leaders" at No. 10 Downing Street.

Theresa May is "distraught" by the Grenfell Tower block fire, her most senior minister has said ahead of a meeting with survivors of the disaster at Downing Street.

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

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"But, 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".

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

Some 19 patients are still being treated in hospital, of whom 10 are in a critical condition, the National Health Service said on June 17, 2017.

Officials are using dental records, fingerprints and DNA samples to try and positively identify victims.

She stood for a minute's silence at the start of her birthday parade on Saturday.

She said earlier that the national mood is sombre but that Britain is resolute in the face of adversity. The queen said it was "difficult to escape a very somber mood" on what is normally a day of celebration.

After May failed to win an outright majority in a snap election last week, she is battling to strike a deal with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party to support her government. Hundreds have been left homeless, putting more pressure on officials in a city plagued by a chronic housing shortage.

He said: "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".

The fire at the 24-story building has led to community anger and protests over the British government's response.

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