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Dead, missing toll in London fire rises to 79, police say

19 June 2017

Public anger was mounting as residents and neighbors demanded answers for how the blaze spread so quickly amid reports that contractors installed a cheaper, less flame-resistant type of exterior paneling in a renovation of Grenfell Tower that ended in May 2016.

She said: "It was very different to get hold of information through [Kensington], we weren't able to get things done as quickly as possible".

A senior United Kingdom government minister said Sunday that he believed the cladding is banned in Britain for buildings above a certain height. Attention has focused on materials used during the renovation process completed previous year.

Greg Hands told Sky News that "my understanding is that the cladding that was reported was not in accordance with United Kingdom building regulations".

He also sidestepped questions over whether he felt guilty about the tragedy, telling BBC Radio 4's The World At One: "I feel awful about the whole position we find ourselves in".

David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, told the programme it is a "scandal" that the public and charities are being forced to plug the gap because local government is unable to co-ordinate relief.

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He said the community in north Kensington, west London, was "frustrated and, yes, angry".

She said, in an unprecedented statement, that she had been "profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need".

Commander Stuart Cundy said the fire damage verged on "indescribable". He has not provided details about the inquiry.

They said the "gold command" operation was an established disaster response procedure.

British officials have announced a nationwide minute of silence to honor the victims on Monday morning.

The fire at the 24-story building has led to community anger and protests over the British government's response.

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On Saturday more than 1,000 people gathered near May's Downing Street office to protest against her plan to form a government with the support of a socially conservative Northern Irish party.

She also noted that an emergency fund of more than $6 million has begun to be "distributed on the ground so people can buy clothes, food and other essentials".

Miguel Alves complained "many times" about construction tools blocking the exits. The neighborhood's resident's association said the management company was negligent.

"People raised these concerns, people were expressing issues regarding the safety and unsafe living conditions", said Lancaster West Residents Association chairwoman Olesea Matcovschi.

"The residents of Grenfell Tower, families who have lost loved ones, and the emergency services who have been working so hard to help them have been through some of the most harrowing and traumatic experiences imaginable", Theresa May said.

Sixteen bodies have been taken to a mortuary, and the first victim formally identified was named as Mohammad Alhajali, a 23-year-old Syrian refugee.

London fire: Death toll climbs to 79
He says it may be necessary for numerous outmoded tower blocks built in the 1970s to be demolished because of safety concerns. A resident in a nearby building watches smoke rise from a building on fire in London , Wednesday, June 14, 2017.

The Home Office said late Saturday night it will make arrangements for the family of Mohammad Alhajali to "travel to the United Kingdom in these terribly sad circumstances".

Dead, missing toll in London fire rises to 79, police say