Grenfell Tower Deaths Rise to 79, London Police Say

People at an event during London Writers' Week 2016

Police confirmed on Monday morning that at least 79 people are missing or presumed dead from the catastrophic fire that ripped through Grenfell Tower in west London last Wednesday.

The devastating fire erupted in the early hours of June 14 trapping several sleeping residents at the 24-storey Grenfell tower.

A senior United Kingdom government minister said Sunday that he believed the cladding is banned in Britain for buildings above a certain height.

Fifty-eight people are now assumed dead from last week's inferno, including 30 confirmed fatalities and 28 others believed to have been killed, Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said Saturday. The previous figure given was 58.

Cundy said the search and recovery operation was ongoing in the burnt-out 24-story tower.

"Family liaison officers are supporting families, and that includes those people we know to be dead; some of those who are crucially ill and sadly those people who we have been told were in Grenfell Tower that night who we have been unable to trace".

"Within the community, trust in the authorities is falling through the floor and a suspicion of a cover-up is rising", said Lammy, who lost a close friend in the fire.

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Two British officials said Sunday that new exterior cladding used in a renovation of Grenfell Tower may have been banned under United Kingdom building regulations.

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.

Mr Khan said an inquiry should be properly resourced so it can get the full truth about the fire as quickly as possible.

The fire triggered both sorrow and outrage, as residents described the futility of their earlier attempts to have the building's safety issues addressed, particularly its fire escape plan.

In a report, BBC said the number could be around 70 people in total.

A minute's silence was held at 11am across all Government buildings to remember victims and all those affected by the fire in north Kensington.

Both May and her ministers have said they will do all they can to help those left homeless after the blaze and make sure other high-rise buildings, usually home to poorer people, are checked and safe. The meeting is unlikely to quell complaints that May has been slow to reach out to victims, despite her announcement of a $6.4 million emergency fund to help the displaced families.

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