Protesters storm local town hall over London fire

BRITAIN-INCIDENT

LONDON'S Metropolitan Police confirmed Friday that at least 30 people died in this week's fire which swept through a residential tower block in west London.

Cladding used on Grenfell Tower blamed for spreading the London blaze is banned in Britain, Finance Minister Philip Hammond says.

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. The reason for that - at one point, in terms of our casualty bureau, there were 400 people who were reported missing from Grenfell Tower.

Commander Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan Police told a press conference the number may change but those believed to have died when the London tower block went up in flames is now in double figures. London police expect the death toll to rise further but said it could take months to search the burned-out building and identify the victims.

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.

Protesters stand in the lobby of Kensington town hall in west London, the headquarters of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, demanding answers over the Grenfell Tower fire, in London, Friday June 16, 2017. "We will continue to look at what more needs to be done", Mrs May said in a statement issued by her office.

"But, 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".

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But that figure could change, he said.

"Nowadays, we would not dream of building towers to the standards of the 1970s, but their inhabitants still have to live with that legacy".

"Wallowing in the wash of a general election that stripped our prime minister of her authority on the very eve of European Union negotiations, neither common sense nor the evidence suggest she can re-establish public confidence", Parris wrote in the Times.

Mrs May met a group of victims, residents, volunteers and community leaders at a church close to the scene of the blaze, after earlier visiting survivors in hospital. The UK government has already announced a full judge-led public inquiry in an attempt to learn lessons from the tragedy and implement any necessary fire measures in other residential towers blocks. "I absolutely get why they're angry".

Residents had raised concerns about the fire safety of the building prior to the blaze. "My government will do whatever it takes to help those affected, get justice and keep our people safe", she said. They also complained that May's visit to the neighborhood was too slow and that support was lacking for those who lost relatives and homes.

May announced a £5 million package to help the victims, and promised to re-house a lot of them in the Kensington and Chelsea borough.

The cause of the blaze, the worst in the British capital in a generation, was being investigated. Her First Secretary of State, Damian Green, defended the prime minister, saying she was as "distraught as we all are".

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