May admits support for Grenfell Tower families 'was not good enough'

Members of London's emergency services observe a minutes' silence in memory of the victims of the June 14 fire at the Grenfell Tower block, pictured on the horizon, in Kensington, west London, on June 19, 2017.

In this photo released by the Metropolitan Police on Sunday, June 18, 2017, a firefighter stands outside of the Grenfell Tower after fire engulfed the 24-storey building, in London.

Controversy is also erupting over the Grenfell Tower's exterior cladding, with two British ministers saying the cladding used in a recent renovation may have been banned under United Kingdom building regulations. The paneling has been blamed for quickly spreading the flames.

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 police chief said the figure of 58 included that toll given earlier. Cundy said he would be "looking at all criminal offenses that might have been committed by any individual or any organization".

On Saturday, British Prime Minister Theresa May admitted support for families "who needed help or basic information in the initial hours after this appalling disaster was not good enough".

"The Prime Minister needs to act immediately to ensure that all evidence is protected so that everyone culpable for what happened at Grenfell Tower is held to account and feels the full force of the law", he added.

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Authorities have confirmed that 79 people died in the blaze that started early Wednesday.

There are also 78 families who have been assessed and are on course to be placed in properties that are local or in the neighbouring borough by the end of the day.

In the wake of the fire, it has emerged that the panels fitted to the outside of Grenfell Tower during a substantial refurbishment in 2011 were the cheaper flammable version, that cost £22 each, compared to the "fire-resistant" version which cost £24 each.

Cundy said the "awful reality" was that it might not be possible to identify all the victims.

He says it may be necessary for numerous outmoded tower blocks built in the 1970s to be demolished because of safety concerns. A spokesman for Britain's Home Office said Saturday it was helping his family travel to the country from Syria, but did not provide further details.

"The tragedy at Grenfell Tower has left a number of local people in need of urgent assistance", a spokesman for the three royals at Kensington Palace said.

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