Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

58 people confirmed or presumed dead from London tower fire


Demonstrators hold up banners during a march in Westminster, following the fire that destroyed The Grenfell Tower block, in north Kensington, West London, Britain June 16, 2017.

By Saturday, officials counted 58 people missing and presumed dead, including 30 deaths previously confirmed.

"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 London building fire death toll rises to 58.

It is very early stages in the investigation into the fire so police have said they expect the current figure to rise.

"There is considerable damage within Grenfell Tower", he said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, facing criticism for the government's handling of the disaster, met Saturday with 15 fire survivors invited to her official residence at 10 Downing Street.

Dozens are feared to have died in a fire which tore through a West London tower block in minutes What caused the London tower fire to start?

Two British ministers say the cladding used in a renovation of Grenfell Tower may have been banned under United Kingdom building regulations.

"When an existing building is undergoing a renovation, upgraded fire safety measures may be required depending on the type of insulation and cladding proposed as part of the renovation", he said. "It becomes hard to shelter-in-place when you have no engineered fire protection systems within a building".

"We've worked tirelessly to establish how many people we believe were in Grenfell Tower on the night and at this point in time we are unable to say that they are safe or well", he said.

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John Cowley, managing director of CEP Architectural Facades, which produced rainscreen panels and windows for Grenfell Tower's cladding sub-contractor Harley Facades Ltd, said: "Reynobond PE is not banned in the UK".

The group, made up of victims, residents, community leaders and volunteers, said they were grateful to Theresa May for listening to their concerns but demanded "real action and immediate results" moving forward.

Extending his sympathies, Mr Cowley said his firm would participate fully in any investigation and co-operate with the authorities to ensure "something like this could never happen again".

"Kensington is one of the richest areas, how did they allow this negligence?" The building was gutted in a blaze early Wednesday morning that has also left dozens missing and hundreds of others homeless.

After a turbulent three months which has seen Britain scarred by three deadly Islamist militant attacks and now the tower blaze, Queen Elizabeth said the mood was deeply sombre but that the British people were resolute in the face of adversity. 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.

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

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.

Londoners and others have also donated huge amounts of food, water and clothing, and shelter, to survivors.

Angry protesters chanting "We want justice" stormed their way into the Kensington and Chelsea town hall on Friday.

Two nearby Underground subway lines were partially shut down Saturday in the fire area to make sure that debris from the tower did not land on the tracks. More than 3 million pounds ($3.8 million) have been raised for the victims.

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