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UK to hold inquiry after London tower fire claims 17

16 June 2017

Fears are growing that the number of people who lost their lives in the Grenfell Tower fire in west London could reach 100, as the government promises a public inquiry into the deadly incident, according to reports.

"Unknown numbers" of people were still missing on Thursday afternoon with London's fire chief warning no further survivors were expected to be found.

Mrs May, already under pressure after a series of terrorist attacks and an election in which her Conservative Party lost its majority, said yesterday that a public inquiry was needed to ensure "this awful tragedy is properly investigated". "We owe that to the families, to the people who have lost loved ones, friends and their homes in which they lived", she said.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has demanded "truth" for the victims and survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.

The search for residents of Grenfell Tower, which was ravaged by a fire in the early hours of yesterday morning, is still underway.

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that many questions must be answered about safety for the scores of other apartment buildings around the British capital.

Speaking in Downing Street, Mrs May said: "When it's possible to identify the cause of this fire, then of course there will be proper investigation and if there are any lessons to be learnt they will be, and action will be taken".

The university said it did not know if the panels on them were the same as those used on the London apartment block, and it said it was very confident its fire protection measures were solid. "But even if they are, smoke and fire will spread through the joints and connections".

Parts of the building were still seen as unsafe, and Cotton said specialist dogs would be brought into the search.

She added: 'I understand that many residents living in high-rise blocks in Southwark will be concerned, and I wanted to write to you straight away to reassure you that Southwark has carried out a huge programme of works in recent years to improve the safety of our tower blocks'.

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Theresa May spoke to Dany Cotton, the commissioner of the London Fire Brigade at Grenfell Tower.

The blaze first broke out at 12:54 a.m. Wednesday and later engulfed all floors above the second in the 24-story building that contained about 120 apartments in north Kensington. "It just reminded me of 9/11", said Muna Ali, 45.

Laminated signs bearing the phone number for a missing persons' hotline were tied to a fence, along with a handwritten sign reading, "Breakfast from 0800 (GMT) inside".

As the council moved some displaced residents into hotels, churches, mosques and synagogues were overwhelmed with donations of food, water and clothing.

Many were moved to tears Wednesday at a moment of silence outside the Notting Hill Methodist Church in west London. "Today is one of those days", Rev. Mike Long said.

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Government ministers were warned about the fire risk of cladding as far back as 1999, the Daily Telegraph reported . The site says the addition of cladding in 2015 had a plastic core that was more flammable than an alternative.