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Tower blocks of 60s and 70s could be torn down - London mayor

19 June 2017

London's mayor Sadiq Khan said on Sunday that the Grenfell Tower fire, in which 58 people are presumed dead, was caused by "mistakes and neglect", as he acknowledged growing public frustration and anger.

Public anger is mounting as residents and neighbors demand answers for how the blaze early Wednesday spread so quickly and trapped so numerous tower's 600-odd residents. British media have reported that contractors installed a cheaper, less flame-resistant type of exterior paneling on the 24-story tower in a renovation that was completed just previous year. Sixteen bodies have been taken to a mortuary for examination.

"Sadly at this time, there are 58 people who we have been told were in Grenfell Tower on the night that are missing and therefore, sadly, I have to assume that they are dead", Cmdr.

He said there may have been people in the tower that police are not aware of, which would add to the death toll. He asked anyone who was in the tower and survived to contact police immediately.

Cundy said emergency workers have now reached the top of the building.

Police Commander Stuart Cundy told the Daily Mail the conditions inside the fire-damage tower verged on "indescribable".

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Prime Minister Theresa May's government earlier sought to quell anger over the fire, pledging to support the victims of the blaze after protesters jeered her when she visited local residents.

Each household will receive at least £500 in cash and £5000 paid into an account as part of a £5 million emergency fund first announced on Friday.

She said earlier that the national mood is sombre but that Britain is resolute in the face of adversity.

Families of the victims and residents of Grenfell said they were furious that the local government had for years ignored their complaints about the building's lack of measures in case of fire and had not adequately attended to survivors of the blaze.

A solemn Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip held a minute of silence for the fire victims at the start of the procession Saturday.

"It is hard to escape a very somber national mood", the queen said in a statement to mark her official birthday - an occasion that typically does not result in any public comments from the monarch.

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The queen, who met victims and volunteers on Friday at the site of the blaze, celebrates two birthdays each year - her actual birthday on April 21 and her official birthday, usually on the second Saturday in June. Hundreds have been left homeless, putting more pressure on officials in a city plagued by a chronic housing shortage.

"Wallowing in the wash of a general election that stripped our prime minister of her authority on the very eve of European Union negotiations, neither common sense nor the evidence suggest she can re-establish public confidence", Parris wrote in the Times.

Experts say the cladding and the insulation it contained seems to have spread the flames quickly along the exterior of the building, overwhelming safety devices like fire doors.

The tragedy has provoked a huge response from nearby communities. Construction company Rydon made the refurbishment of the block worth Rs 8.7 million pound and was completed in July 2016. Numerous displaced are living in churches and community centres.

"We have colleagues in there as we speak, searching for and recovering those that have died".

Service on two London Underground lines has been partially suspended because of concerns about the safety of the high-rise in the fire that killed at least 30 people.

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Some Grenfell residents had warned months ago that fire safety issues at the tower left it at risk of a "catastrophic" event.

Tower blocks of 60s and 70s could be torn down - London mayor