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

Death toll climbs to 30 in London Grenfell Tower fire

Death toll climbs to 30 in London Grenfell Tower fire

Cladding used on Grenfell Tower blamed for spreading the London blaze is banned in Britain, Finance Minister Philip Hammond says.

"Today is traditionally a day of celebration".

"It is hard to escape a very sombre national mood", Elizabeth, the world's oldest and longest-reigning monarch, said in a message on her official birthday.

"The country has witnessed a succession of bad tragedies". He also explained that the figure was based on reports from the public and feared it might go up.

The prince's embrace broke with royal protocol - touching royal members is historically reserved for handshakes - and instead embraced the distressed woman who was reportedly desperate to locate her husband who was trapped an elevator during the time of the fire.

If that death toll is confirmed, it would make the Grenfell Tower blaze the deadliest in London since the Second World War.

Frank adds that anger is rising in London about the deaths - for example, a leading tabloid was emblazoned with the headline "Arrest the Killers" while Labour MP David Lammy has said the incident amounts to "corporate manslaughter".

Some of the 58 persons are missing, and presumed dead at this point.

The first victim has been formally identified as 23-year-old Syrian refugee Mohammed Alhajali.

King also said that there are around 4,000 tower blocks in the United Kingdom without automatic fire sprinkler protection systems in place.

Concrete in the hallways was scorched
Concrete in the hallways was scorched

He said: "There are a large number of deliberately kept vacant flats and properties all over London, it's called land banking".

"You have my absolute assurance that as soon as I can tell you something that I know to be accurate I will tell you".

"If, as we investigate, we identify issues that are a risk to public safety, we will not be waiting until the end of the investigation before we provide that information to the appropriate authorities".

Cundy promised an exhausting investigation into the tragedy.

Emergency workers have reached the top of the 24-story tower. Their search for missing residents has been stalled because of safety concerns over the tower's condition. Sixteen bodies have been taken to a mortuary for examination.

Mr 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". It may take longer than that.

"We have colleagues in there as we speak, searching for and recovering those that have died". "We do not want another fatality arising out of this tragedy", he said.

British Prime Minister Theresa met the families of the victims on Saturday and assured them a total compensation of $6.4 million for emergency costs and for finding homes in nearby locations within three weeks, according to Bloomberg. She then released a statement. Coinciding with her 91st birthday, the British monarch joined the people gathered in front of Buckingham Palace to pay tribute to the victims.

The cause of Wednesday's blaze is still under investigation, but anger has mounted in the community amid reports that exterior paneling used in an extensive renovation completed a year ago may have been banned by United Kingdom rules.

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