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58 people presumed dead after Grenfell Tower disaster

18 June 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May says more help will be sent to the scene to help survivors cope and find alternative housing now that the 24-story Grenfell Tower is destroyed. Her government, already weakened after losing its parliamentary majority in elections last week, has been slammed for a faltering response.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, facing criticism for the government's handling of the disaster, met Saturday with 15 fire survivors invited to her official residence at 10 Downing Street.

Separately, hundreds of protesters stormed the local town hall chanting: "We want justice". We need to know what happened; we need to have an explanation of this, we owe that to the families.

London's Metropolitan Police confirmed Friday they had launched a criminal investigation into the incident.

For starters, the #Police have confirmed that 30 people died in the fire, which engulfed the entire 24-storey building in flames.

Police bundled the British premier into a waiting auto amid angry shouts of "coward" from protestors.

Grenfell Tower is a public housing block owned by the local government council and managed by a non-profit organisation known as the Kensington and Chelsea Tenants Management Organization.

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As the protesters sought to gain entry to an upper floor, police tried to bar their way. Police barred their way and scuffles broke out, a Reuters reporter said. At least one protester was detained.

He said the temperature of the blaze at Grenfell Tower was comparable to a cremation.

While the disaster has prompted an outpouring of generosity, there was also anger at politicians as the charred tower was cast as a deadly symbol of a divided society.

Other experts have pointed to a 2013 coroner's report which recommended that sprinklers be fitted throughout tower blocks in order to prevent fires of this kind. May also said that she has set a deadline of three weeks for all the survivors of the Grenfell fire to be placed in new housing. Her government is also due to launch hard Brexit talks with the European Union on Monday.

Earlier on Friday, May met victims privately at a central London hospital.

They state that the material needs a fire rating of at least one to two hours - a window that would theoretically allow most people ample time to escape a blaze. Her grandson Prince William accompanied her and told a volunteer, "That's one of the most bad things I have ever seen".

The five million pounds are to be used to cover emergency supplies, funeral costs and loss of possessions, Efe news reported. "She should have been there with the residents".

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for an interim report on the fire to be published this summer.

Relatives and friends of the missing made increasingly desperate appeals for information, as it became increasingly clear that few are likely to have survived.

Residents of high rise flats in parts of Scotland have been offered reassurance in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

The families of Italian couple Gloria Trevisan and Marco Gottardi, both 27, say they believe they are also among the dead after they rang home to say goodbye.

However, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who was London mayor until previous year, took to Facebook to attack opposition Labour politicians for "political game playing".

"What I'm now absolutely focused on is ensuring that we get that support on the ground", May said in a BBC Newsnight interview, according to Reuters.

He said there may have been people in the tower that police are not aware of, which would add to the death toll.

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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". The death toll is expected to rise with dozens still missing.