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London fire singes British politics, death toll expected to rise to 80


REUTERS/Peter Nicholls Police officers protect the entrance to the BBC building during a protest in central London following the fire that destroyed The Grenfell Tower block, in north Kensington, West London, Britain June 16, 2017.

Metropolitan police commander Stuart Cundy said, "We know that at least 30 people who have died".

Cundy said that because the fire was so powerful there was "a risk that sadly we may not be able to identify everybody".

Commentators compared her visit to a visit Thursday by the British Prime Minister Theresa May, who was criticized for not meeting survivors.

They gathered at the gates that bar access to the street and kept up a barrage of chants: "Blood on your hands" and, again, "May must go".

Describing the fire that started around 1 a.m. local time Wednesday morning as "an unprecedented incident", London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said: "In my 29 years of being a firefighter, I have never ever seen anything on this scale".

While investigators have said it is too early to determine the cause of the fire, residents have blamed new aluminium composite cladding for aiding the fire's rapid spread up the sides of the building. "There are a couple of signs which are also basic common sense such as not to use the lifts and then get out of the building".

She will later Friday chair a meeting on how the authorities can help affected communities and victims recover.

A criminal investigation has been launched, CNN reported.

Actor Tom Hardy has setup a fundraising campaign to support those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

"There is still a number of people who are receiving treatment in hospital".

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Cambridge visited the area to meet residents and community representatives on Friday.

Grenfell Tower was home to about 600 people and whole families remain missing after the fire, which forced residents to flee through black smoke down the single stairwell, jump out of windows or even drop their children to safety.

One of those was Gloria Trevisan, a 26-year-old Italian architect who was living in London because her family was having financial difficulties at home in Italy.

Mrs May said the public inquiry into the fire will take place "as soon as possible" and insisted the Government had acted on previous warnings about tower block safety by a coroner. For the sake of those lost in the inferno, and for their families, Mr Barwell must stop hiding and face the press.

He said: "There were a number of recommendations, all recommendations were actioned and my predecessor responded to that report publicly about how they would be actioned and they've been actioned".

"We need to do whatever it takes to make people that live in those properties safe - that is either make the property safe or find other accommodation", he said.

The Times newspaper quoted a Reynobond salesman as saying that in the United States the panels were banned for buildings taller than 40 feet (12 metres), far lower than the 24-storey Grenfell Tower that was consumed by the roaring blaze.

The UK government has promised that all those made homeless by the disaster will be rehoused in the local area.

The Prime Minister visited victims in hospital, following criticism of her failure to meet relatives yesterday. Emergency responders were dispatched to the 24-story building to battle the blaze.

"Now the anger - furious locals demand answers", was the headline in The Sun, while The Daily Telegraph ran with "Sorrow turns to anger" under a picture of two girls in an emotional embrace.

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