58 people confirmed or presumed dead from London tower fire

Posted June 20, 2017

We are deeply shocked and saddened by the incident at the Grenfell Tower in London, the 24 storey building which was engulfed by fire.

A total of 58 people are presumed dead after the devastating fire in a London tower block, police chief Stuart Cundy told reporters on Saturday. He said the figures may still change.

Previously, the Metropolitan Police had confirmed 30 people had been killed in the inferno; the announcement Saturday almost doubles that number.

While the blaze has prompted an outpouring of generosity, with many people donating provisions and clothes, it has also unleashed rage at the authorities as the charred tower was cast as a deadly symbol of a deeply divided society.

"It's hard to describe the devastation the fire has caused", Cundy added, saying that the authorities are investigating whether any crimes had been committed in the fire.

She said many identifications would probably be done via dental records, predicting that such samples would be more likely found from people who died of smoke inhalation, rather than those killed by the fire itself. 16 bodies have been recovered from the Tower and taken to a mortuary.

The 91-year-old monarch said it is "difficult to escape a very somber mood" on what is normally a day of celebration.

"During recent visits in Manchester and London, I have been profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need", the queen said in a statement.

"Our focus has been on those we know were in there [.] However, there may be other people who were in there on the night that others were not aware were there".

Ms Cotton added that it might be "some days yet" before firefighters could say they have reached everyone in the building.

As Prime Minister Theresa May said the support on the ground was "not good enough", members of the public told the Press Association there appeared to be no centralised list of those missing, and that they were forced to continually visit or call the various rescue centres and hospitals that were dealing with those affected.

But they also claimed in 2005, the emergency lighting system in the staircase at Grenfell Tower was found to be "in a unsafe state of disrepair" after the estate management's board received leaked information.

Around 70 people are missing, according to Britain's Press Association, and identification of the victims is proving very hard.

On Friday angry protesters chanting "We want justice" stormed their way into the Kensington and Chelsea town hall to try to confront the leaders of the local council.

"When an existing building is undergoing a renovation, upgraded fire safety measures may be required depending on the type of insulation and cladding proposed as part of the renovation", he said.

The tragedy has provoked a huge response from nearby communities. More than 3 million pounds ($3.8 million) have been raised for the victims.

Some residents had warned months ago that the tower represented a unsafe fire risk. They say their complaints were ignored - and fear it was because the tower was full of poor people in a predominantly wealthy borough.