London tower block fire death toll climbs to 30

"This will be about providing as best as we possibly can answers for those who have been so deeply and tragically affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower".

As she spoke to Sky News at the site of the fire in west London, Mrs Leadsom was confronted by a local resident, who said opportunities had been missed to make the 24-storey block safe following a report into the 2009 Lakanal House fire in Camberwell, south London.

Prime Minister Theresa May has come under criticism for not meeting residents when she visited the site on Thursday to talk with emergency workers.

People were demanding homes be found urgently for families made homeless by the blaze.

The death toll from Wednesday's fire has risen to 30 confirmed fatalities.

"We know that at least 30 people have died as a result of this fire", Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy told reporters on Friday, adding that the blaze did not appear to have resulted from arson.

Police yesterday warned that some of the victims may never be identified because of the state of the remains.

Twenty-four people are still receiving treatment in hospitals across London and 12 remain in a critical condition, according to the authorities.

One of the first victims was named as 23-year-old Syrian refugee Mohammed Alhajali, with the Syria Solidarity Campaign director Kareen El Beyrouty launching a campaign towards funeral costs.

They are among the 17 people who are said to have died in the incident.

"Mohammed undertook a unsafe journey to flee war and death in Syria, only to meet it here in the United Kingdom, in his own home", the Syrian Solidarity Campaign said in a statement. "Mohammed came to this country for safety and the United Kingdom failed to protect him".

A couple of miles away in west London, several hundred protesters stormed Kensington and Chelsea council town hall. "We will continue to look at what more needs to be done".

The death toll in the massive fire that engulfed a 24-storey tower here almost doubled to 30 today amid fears that it could climb to "triple figures", even as Scotland Yard launched a criminal investigation into the cause of one of the worst fire tragedies in the country. "There are obvious questions about value for money and other questions that will be raised and other questions that demand answers".

On the other hand, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose party recently ran a promising campaign against May's Conservatives leading to her party losing the majority, was seen visiting and hugging tearful relatives of victims near the burnt building after the fire, the report said.

He said later: "We must and will do everything in our power to ensure the truth about this tragedy comes out".

"Any burning material falls down the gaps and the fire spreads up very rapidly - it acts as its own chimney", he was quoted as saying.

Choucair told Reuters residents had concerns about the safety of the building and she was angry about what has happened.

"There are thousands of tower blocks around our country".

"People have lost their lives, people have had their homes destroyed, they have fled for their lives with absolutely nothing".

The Queen met with volunteers, and expressed her sympathies to families of victims of the blaze.

  • Leroy Wright