London fire: 58 presumed dead in Grenfell Tower blaze, say police

Cundy promised an "exhaustive" criminal investigation into the fire that would also look at a major refurbishment of the building completed previous year.

"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", she said.

He said: 'Sadly at this time, 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'.

Sixteen bodies have now been recovered from Grenfell Tower and taken to a mortuary.

"Whilst our teams have been from the bottom to the top of the tower, we must now carry out a full forensic and systematic search".

Flames engulfed the building in less than an hour early on June 14, trapping many residents before firefighters could reach them.

Two Tube lines have been partly suspended amid safety concerns at Grenfell Tower.

Any move away from the shelter in place tactic would put lives at risk, said Simon Lay, a fire safety expert and fellow at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

He said it had been 'incredibly emotional working in there.

Then there was shock as the death toll mounted and officials said it may be weeks, months or even years before the true number is established. May returned to the neighbourhood the following day to meet with survivors at St.

Earlier on Saturday Prime Minister Theresa May met victims of the blaze at Downing Street, amid criticism she had not seen them in the immediate wake of the tragedy.

The tragedy has provoked a huge response from nearby communities that have donated food and shelter to the victims. Hundreds of others have been left homeless and dozens are missing.

Britain has held a moment of silence for the 79 people who are believed to have died in the high-rise fire in West London. She also says she will receive daily reports from the stricken neighborhood.

Cundy said authorities plan to release video and photographs from inside the badly-charred building.

Only five victims have been formally identified - and Cundy said that because of the fire's intensity and the devastation it caused, authorities may not be able to identify everybody who died.

Matthew Parris, a columnist and former Conservative lawmaker, said May's response to the fire had shown a lack of judgment which made her unsuitable to be prime minister.

Fires have, in the past, spread quickly in more than one such tower in Dubai.

Three appeals on the JustGiving site have helped to raise the 3 million pounds, and London's Evening Standard newspaper has launched a separate appeal that has raised at least 1.5 million pounds ($1.9 million) by Saturday morning.

Residents will be given £500 in cash followed by a bank payment for the rest from Monday and the money will come from the £5 million fund announced by Theresa May on Friday.

The tragedy has provoked a huge response from nearby communities.

'As we do everything we can to help them, we will make sure they have the counselling and emotional support they need in the hard days, weeks and years ahead'.

  • Leroy Wright