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58 missing, presumed dead in London fire : London police

18 June 2017

While the blaze has prompted an outpouring of generosity, with many people donating provisions and clothes, it has also unleashed rage at the authorities as the charred tower was cast as a deadly symbol of a deeply divided society.

The fire forced residents to flee through black smoke down the single stairwell, jump out of windows or even drop their children from the building.

Dozens of people remain missing after the fire engulfed the 24-story building early Wednesday, CNN reported. British media have reported that contractors installed a cheaper, less flame-resistant type of exterior paneling on the 24-story tower in a renovation that was completed just a year ago.

Of the 58, he said the number of confirmed fatalities in Wednesday's inferno remains at 30.

Police have said recovery process could take weeks, and warned some of the bodies may be too burned to be identified.

Police in London have said 58 people are now presumed dead following this week's devastating fire at Grenfell tower block.

The investigation team will be drawn together from detectives from across the Metropolitan Police, led by Detective Chief Inspector Matt Bonner of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, and will establish if a crime was committed before confirming what caused the tragedy.

Tower residents and many others in the area are still struggling to come to terms with what they have seen and lived through.

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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".

The fire service is continuing its room by room search of the burnt-out tower block.

Prime Minister Theresa May's government earlier sought to quell anger over the fire, pledging to support the victims of the blaze after protesters jeered her when she visited local residents.

She visited the site of the fire on Latimer Road on Thursday, speaking to first responders.

May said after the meeting Saturday that there have been "huge frustrations" in the community as people tried to get information.

The identification of the victims is proving very hard - which experts attribute to the extreme heat of the fire.

So, the residents are saying that the final death toll could be much higher than what British authorities are giving.

Queen Elizabeth II said the disaster had cast a sombre pall over Britain, but insisted the country was showing resolve in the face of adversity.

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Opponents said Mrs May's handling of the fire has thrust her position further into doubt.

Asked repeatedly whether she had misread the public mood, May did not answer directly but said the focus was on providing support to the victims.

There are questions about why the block was not fitted with sprinklers or a central smoke alarm, and whether a recent refurbishment, including new external cladding, helped fuel the flames. British officials have ordered a review of other buildings that have had similar renovations.

The tragedy has provoked a big response from nearby communities that have donated food and shelter to the victims.

Many survivors are sleeping on the floor in community centers and there's still no coordinated distribution of donated food and clothing.

"I thought the way they expressed themselves with a mixture of passion and reason was fantastic", he said.

Two neighbouring Tube lines are to be partly suspended into a second day amid safety concerns of debris falling on to the tracks.

As the victims of the fire entered the Downing Street, hundreds of demonstrators had gathered in Whitehall to protest against the prime minister. "Some survivors have also complained the government has been painfully slow to find them places to sleep".

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