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London fire toll hits 30, but dozens missing

"We know that at least 30 people have died as a result of this fire", said Commander Stuart Cundy, adding that the figure was expected to rise.

"We want justice!", "Shame on you!", and "Killers!", the protesters shouted as they scuffled with security guards in the lobby of the building.

The death toll in the high-rise tower blaze in Britain's capital soared to 30, police said Friday as they also warned that some of the victims may never be identified.

Some people then left the building though others remained inside.

Prime Minister Theresa May, criticised in the first few days after the blaze for failing to meet with victims, says the public inquiry looking into the tragedy will report directly to her.

The disaster has prompted an outpouring of support and generosity, with shocked Londoners donating so many clothes, shoes and bedsheets that volunteers were soon overwhelmed.

Particular concerns have been raised about the rain- screen cladding used on the outside of the tower, which experts said might have accelerated the inferno that consumed the entire block in just 15 minutes.




Her government is trying to make up ground in reacting to a fire that trapped people in their beds in the early hours of Wednesday, with many unable to escape as the flames raced up the building, cutting off exit routes and forcing some to jump.

The Sun newspaper has listed 65 people who it said were still missing or feared dead. I have heard horrifying stories from the fire brigade, from police and from victims themselves who were in that tower but also from other local residents, some of whom of course have not been able to go back to their homes either.

May met victims privately at a central London hospital on Friday and had expressed her sorrow on television on Thursday after meeting emergency services personnel.

The government has ordered a judge-led inquiry into the disaster, which is under pressure to act quickly. While members of her party have suggested security issues contributed to her lack of engagement with the public, residents seemed unwilling to accept the explanation. "Sadly, we do not expect there to be any survivors".

"It is criminal to wrap homes in flammable plastic", read another sign after it emerged that cladding installed on the exterior walls of the tower as part of refurbishment was officially graded as not fire-resistant. He says it will take weeks or longer to recover and identify all the dead at the charred building. I believe we need to ask questions about what facilities and resources have been given to local authorities that have tower blocs in the area and, frankly, most do.

The cause of Wednesday's blaze is still under investigation, but anger has mounted in the community amid reports that exterior paneling used in an extensive renovation completed past year may have spread the flames.

Nisha Parti, a film producer who has been helping organise help for victims of the fire in Kensington, revealed the local council is giving the measly sum to survivors when they are checked in to hotels.

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