London Fire: 58 Missing, Presumed Dead - Police

A total of 58 people are dead or missing, presumed dead following the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower in west London, police have said. Commander Stuart Cundy said that number "may increase". The BBC understands it could be around 70 people in total. The recovery operation at the burnt-out block of flats, which was briefly stalled due to safety reasons, has resumed and could take weeks, he said.

Residents caught up in the fire have condemned the "chaotic" relief effort. Commander Cundy appealed for anyone who managed to escape from the building to let authorities know they were safe.
Of the resumed search, he said: "As soon as we can, we will locate and recover loved ones." The latest police update comes as the Queen reflected on the "sombre national mood" following tragedies in London and Manchester in recent weeks in her official birthday message.

'Bewildered and confused'

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May has met victims, volunteers and community leaders in Downing Street. As they left Number 10, one representative spoke to reporters briefly, saying they would not make a full statement yet. "We will be making this in the community, with the community," he said. "We have had two-and-a-half hours with the prime minister in the last 48 hours and spoke about demands and what we expect."

Mrs May has come in for a barrage of criticism over her response to the disaster, including being jeered when she visited the North Kensington estate on Friday. On Saturday afternoon, hundreds of protesters gathered in Whitehall, to call for her resignation. First Secretary of State Damian Green has defended the prime minister, saying she was as "distraught as we all are".

Courtesy:BBC



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