London police say 58 people assumed dead in tower block blaze

UK government scrambles to limit fallout from London fire

London police say 58 people assumed dead in tower block blaze

Demonstrators crowd a staircase at Kensington Town Hall, during a protest following the The Grenfell Tower fire.

Public anger was mounting as residents and neighbors demanded answers for how the blaze spread so quickly amid reports that contractors installed a cheaper, less flame-resistant type of exterior paneling in a renovation of the Grenfell Tower that ended in May 2016. 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.

"I appreciate that the authorities want to be absolutely certain that any information is correct before it is issued publicly, and the fire brigade, police and coroner are doing a heroic job obtaining this information in extremely hard circumstances", Sadiq Khan said.

Community groups have said warnings about poor fire safety have always been ignored, and that in the aftermath of the disaster, officials had failed to immediately take care of those affected.

"We as the police, we investigate criminal offences, I am not sitting here and saying there are criminal offences that have been committed, that's why you do an investigation, to establish it", he said. Some 70 residents remain unaccounted for. He asked anyone who was in the tower and survived to contact police immediately.

Rescue personnel have had difficulty reaching the top floors of the charred, 24-story tower.

At Downing Street on Saturday, Theresa May met with 16 victims and volunteers from the local community - and those present said their harrowing accounts moved the Prime Minister to well up.

May announced on Friday that her government has set up a £5 million ($8.4 million Cdn) "discretionary fund" to help pay for food, clothing, personal supplies and funerals.

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

The Government has also announced that a minute's silence will be held for the victims at 11am tomorrow.

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He said: "The conditions due to the fire damage verge on indescribable, which is why this will be such a lengthy operation taking weeks to complete".

"It is hard to escape a very sombre national mood", the queen said in a statement to mark her official birthday - an occasion that typically does not result in any public comments from the monarch.

Afterwards a man representing the group, who did not give his name, told reporters they would make a full statement "in the community ".

People were demanding homes be found urgently for families made homeless by the blaze. "We could put out children to bed and know they would get up in the morning".

Mr Hammond said the public inquiry set up by the government following the tragedy would also examine if rules had been broken.

Fire safety experts believe that cladding put on the building's exterior during a renovation a year ago was less fire retardant, which may have fueled the blaze.

Building officials have not commented since the fire. More than $3.8 million has been raised for the victims.

Numerous displaced are living in churches and community centers. "I'm praying for them", she said.

Some Grenfell residents had warned months ago fire safety issues at the tower meant that it was at risk of a "catastrophic" event.

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