58 presumed dead in London tower blaze, police say
- Author: Zachary Reyes Jun 18, 2017,
Jun 18, 2017, 15:49
His remarks come after 58 people are now presumed dead after Grenfell Tower erupted in flames on Wednesday.
May made the announcement while speaking to survivors of the fire that on Wednesday ripped through the 24-story Grenfell Tower in Kensington while most residents were sleeping, leaving dozens dead, of which 30 have been found and identified, and hundreds homeless.
Cundy added that it will take weeks or longer to recover and identify all the dead in the housing block that was devastated.
Commander Cundy was asked about concerns some people had that the death toll was being downplayed by authorities.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, facing criticism for the government's handling of the disaster, on Saturday met with a small group of fire survivors at her official residence at 10 Downing Street.
Weakened by a botched election gamble last week, May has been criticised for her muted response to the fire and had to be rushed away from a meeting with residents on Friday under heavy police guard as protesters shouted, "Shame on you".
She said that the government has begun distributing funds from a $6.4 emergency fund created to assist victims of the blaze, and housing officials are conducting safety checks of other public high-rise towers in London.
Mrs May said after the meeting support for families "who needed help or basic information in the initial hours" after the Grenfell Tower disaster "was not good enough".
"The scale of this tragedy is clearly proving too much for the local authority to cope with on their own", the mayor said in his open letter to the prime minister.
What makes the London fire maddening for fire experts who believe in the "stay put" rule is that the Grenfell may have lacked numerous safety redundancies necessary to make it work.
Anger boiled over on Friday as people stormed Kensington & Chelsea Town Hall.
Meanwhile, the Home Office said it was making arrangements for the family of one of those who died in the fire to travel from Syria to Britain for his funeral. "But we try to make sure people know there are features and redundancies in buildings that you can count on, and you can stay put".
The blaze tore through all floors of the building and took more than 200 firefighters 24 hours to bring it under control. "I absolutely get why they are angry".
"I'm not here because I support the Tories, Labour or Liberals", he said.
"The conditions inside Grenfell Tower mean that the search-and-recovery operation to find and recover the victims is extremely challenging".
They say their complaints were ignored - and fear it was because the tower housed mainly poor people in a hugely wealthy neighbourhood.
A solemn Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip held a minute of silence for the fire victims at the start of the procession Saturday.
Many residents who spoke to CNN were angry at the Prime Minister's decision not to meet with victims when she visited the area Thursday. "This year, however, it is hard to escape a very somber national mood".
May said she expected to announce the name of the judge for a public inquiry within a few days.
He told BBC One's Sunday Politics: "I don't think that we are stirring it up".