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Stay put? Deadly London fire puts scrutiny on high-rise rule

19 Juin 2017

Many in the United Kingdom are upset with Prime Minister Theresa May for her response - or lack thereof - to the Grenfell Tower fire.

As NPR's Merrit Kennedy reported, the Grenfell Tower fire has aroused the ire of those who feel it was caused by corporate malfeasance and who feel Prime Minister Theresa May's government is not doing enough to respond.

The first victim has been formally identified as 23-year-old Syrian refugee Mohammed Alhajali.

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

But public anger has been swelling, with furious residents heckling May and storming the local authority headquarters on Friday.

Emergency services are to spend a third day searching for bodies in the burnt-out Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, where they were called to reports of a fire in the early hours of Wednesday. Some said they had never seen a building fire advance so quickly.

London Police have announced they are launching an investigation into the shocking and devastating Grenfell Tower disaster, hinting that criminal offences may have contributed to the apartment block blaze that has so far racked up an "official" death toll of 30, a number that is expected to rise.

They said they would provide an updated figure on Monday.

Two boys inspect pictures of the missing.

Morocco said seven of its nationals were among the dead.

She returned to the site today, this time meeting victims and residents, but was met with cries of "coward" and "shame on you" as she left under heavy police escort.

Metropolitan police commander Stuart Cundy said, "We know that at least 30 people who have died".

(AP Photo/Tim Ireland). People protest demanding answers over the Grenfell Tower fire, in London, Friday June 16, 2017.

Last night, new measures were announced to support those who have lost loved ones, along with members of the emergency services.

West London film producer Nisha Parti, who has been helping victims in Kensington, said the cash is being given to those checking into hotels in the wake of Wednesday's blaze. "My government will do whatever it takes to help those affected, get justice and keep our people safe".

"I have ordered that more staff be deployed across the area, wearing high visibility clothing, so they can easily be found, dispense advice and ensure the right support is provided", May said on Saturday following a meeting with survivors at her Downing Street residence. Everyone displaced will be housed nearby within three weeks, she promised.

Smoke was still wafting out of the blackened shell of the Grenfell Tower on Thursday where specialist firefighters and dog search teams faced hazardous conditions as they scoured the wreck, with external cladding still falling from the building.

A prominent British Labour Party lawmaker is calling for police and the government to seize all documents relating to the renovation of a London high-rise destroyed by a fire that killed dozens of its residents. He came to Britain in 2014 with his brother.

"People are wondering why it seemed to burn very quickly".

Stay put? Deadly London fire puts scrutiny on high-rise rule