May earmarks relief money for London fire victims; death toll at 30

  • May earmarks relief money for London fire victims; death toll at 30

May earmarks relief money for London fire victims; death toll at 30

Local residents have decried inadequate information and aid from council staff in the fire's aftermath, with hundreds of disgruntled demonstrators flocking to protest at Kensington town hall Saturday.

Residents who survived said they warned the building's manager about fire hazards for years but were ignored.

Every family whose home was destroyed in the Grenfell Tower fire will receive a down-payment of at least £5,500 on Monday. Thirty of the victims are confirmed dead.

"Sadly I can confirm that the number of people that have died is now 17", London police commander Stuart Cundy told reporters.

"The scale of this tragedy is clearly proving too much for the local authority to cope with on their own", Mr Khan said in an open letter to Ms May.

The Metropolitan police have officially begun a criminal investigation into the fire.

The fire at the 24-storey public housing project broke out early Wednesday - after Britons had been hit with three terrorist attacks in less than three months, in London and Manchester.

The package is also to include a commitment to ensure that all who lost their homes are re-housed as soon as possible near where they lived, temporary accommodation is paid for and that all victims are consulted during a public inquiry into the fire.

Mohammed Alhajali, who was 23 and a civil engineering student, was the first victim to be named.

The leader of the council facing intense criticism over its handling of the Grenfell Tower disaster has insisted there is an "effective" relief effort on the ground.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said the cladding, which has been blamed for spreading the fire, is banned in Britain.

The statement came after May met volunteers and some of the people made homeless by the fire. It stopped short of guaranteeing that they would be able to continue living in the immediate area. "This is an absolutely very bad fire that took place", May said.

"I would break the rules more than what I would have done", he said. I anticipate the name of the judge will be announced within the next few days and that an open meeting will be held with residents to help shape the terms of reference.

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.

Downing Street has promised to do "what is required" to safeguard life - including evacuating the buildings, reports the Telegraph.

He said it will take "weeks or longer" to recover and identify all the dead in the social housing building that was left charred and gutted by the devastating blaze.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.