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Death Toll in London High-rise Apartment Blaze Rises to 17

16 June 2017

"This morning, the Metropolitan Police have confirmed that sadly 17 people are now known to have died in the bad fire at Grenfell Tower", London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement on Thursday.

Out of the horror come tales of heroism - the father who led his pregnant wife and youngest daughter to safety only to realise his eldest daughter had not made it out and rushed back upstairs to find her; the residents who alerted their neighbours to the fire delaying their own escapes; the 200+ firefighters who battled the blaze for hours, many entering the burning building to rescue those trapped within.

"It's really irritating why they prettied up the tower".

But he said people in Brighton and Hove shouldn't panic - and that where there was a stay put policy, it would work.

London Fire Brigade chief Dany Cotton said firefighters were not able to access all the apartments because of structural safety concerns and had only searched around half of the building in detail.

"We like to think of ourselves as rufty-tufty and heroes - they are heroes, but they have feelings, and people were absolutely devastated by yesterday's events". "If government was doing its job ... this wouldn't have happened".

But a line stating that it met all "fire regulation and health and safety standards", which was included in an earlier release, had disappeared.

"How many children died?"

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To general astonishment, the Kensington parliamentary constituency, where the Grenfell Tower stands, was won by Labour for the first time in its history.

Queen Elizabeth II sent her condolences, paying tribute to the bravery of the emergency services.

The Labour leader visited St Clements Church, where volunteers have set up a refuge centre after the tragedy, and volunteers and community leaders showed him the donations that have been pouring in.

"The south part of Kensington is incredibly wealthy, it's the wealthiest part of the whole country".

Questions are growing about how the flames spread so quickly, engulfing its 120 apartments.

The cause of the inferno, which left the tower block a charred, smoking shell, was not immediately known. They also promised that those who had lost their homes would be rehoused in the local area.

"Share the food with everyone", a marshal encouraged, as local residents and those who had come to offer help sat cross-legged opposite each other as Muslim members of the diverse neighborhood broke their Ramadan fast.

"Every single person living in a high-rise building today will be frightened, will be traumatised and will be very, very anxious".

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Mrs May has ordered a full public inquiry, expected to cost millions of pounds, into the tragedy.

- The local council says it has enough donations for the survivors. "Not least because they knew there were people still in there and they were battling through the heat and couldn't get there".

She accused the council of keeping taxes unnecessarily low, when it could easily raise more money to spend on social housing and other public services.

In Parliament, Mr Corbyn said there are "so many questions" about the disaster, including whether concerns residents had previously raised about the building had been ignored.

The burnt facade of a tower block is seen as firefighters tackle a serious fire at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017. "It just reminded me of 9/11", said Muna Ali, 45.

The LFB said the fire was controlled after firefighters worked with gas authorities to find a ruptured gas main.

Afterwards, Kai was asked whether he was satisfied with Mr Khan's answers, to which he said: "I didn't hear them".

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