London fire: New footage shows horror from inside Grenfell Tower

BBC
BBC Question Time audience member says he will never vote Tory again while Theresa May is leader

BBC BBC Question Time audience member says he will never vote Tory again while Theresa May is leader

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the devastating Grenfell Tower block fire was caused by "years of neglect", describing the tragedy as "a national disaster that requires a national response".

British media have reported that contractors installed a cheaper, less flame-resistant type of exterior panelling on the tower in a renovation that was completed just a year ago.

Community groups have said warnings about poor fire safety have always been ignored, and that in the aftermath of the disaster, officials had failed to immediately take care of those affected.

Sharing the footage, Commander Stuart Cundy, said: "It is really important that we are clear about the scale of the challenge facing us as our teams search Grenfell Tower to recover those people still inside and return them to their loved ones". He asked anyone who was in the tower and survived to contact police immediately.

Tottenham MP David Lammy said claims the survivors of Grenfell Tower had been given so little was "outrageous".

Cundy said police would consider criminal prosecutions if there is evidence of wrongdoing and the police investigation would include scrutiny of the renovation project.

Prime Minister Theresa May met with victims of the disaster at Downing Street on Saturday, before declaring that the support given to families in the aftermath of the tragedy was "not good enough". 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. This year, however, it is hard to escape a very sombre national mood.

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"There is a feeling of the community that they've been treated badly because some of them are poor", Khan said.

Earlier on Saturday, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip observed a moment of silence to honor the victims.

The queen marked her official birthday on Saturday by saying Britain remains "resolute in the face of adversity" after the horrendous fire and recent extremist attacks in London and Manchester.

"It is hard to escape a very somber national mood", she said in a message marking the event.

The latest figure included the previously released number of 30 deaths in the catastrophe in North Kensington early Wednesday.

Hundreds have been left homeless by the blaze, putting more pressure on officials in a city already plagued by a chronic housing shortage.

Meanwhile, dozens of people erupted into Kensington and Chelsea town hall to protest the lack of response following the fire.

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Engineering experts and fire safety specialists believe the building's exterior cladding may have quickly fueled the blaze, overwhelming fire protection devices.

A resident in a nearby building watches smoke rise from a building on fire in London, Wednesday, June 14, 2017.

Being relieved of responsibility is hugely embarrassing for a council that is the wealthiest in the country and sits on a £270 million reserve. Numerous displaced are living in churches and community centres.

Nick Paget-Brown, the Tory leader of Kensington and Chelsea council, said there were officials on the ground "very soon" after the fire broke out to help residents, but he sidestepped questions over whether he feels guilty about what happened.

Two neighbouring Tube lines are to be partly suspended into a second day amid safety concerns of debris falling on to the tracks.

Some residents had warned months ago that the tower represented a risky fire risk.

"As we do everything we can to help them, we will make sure they have the counselling and emotional support they need in the hard days, weeks and years ahead".

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