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United Kingdom minister vows London fire inquiry will leave 'no stone unturned'

20 Juin 2017

Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy announced Saturday that 58 people are missing and presumed dead after the fire at Grenfell Tower in London, England.

He said: "Clearly it's quite unprecedented for 16 very ordinary people, who this time last week were walking their dogs or talking to each other in the streets around here and north Kensington, actually to be in 10 Downing Street talking face-to-face with the Prime Minister".

"Sadly for many families they have lost more than one family member", said Cundy, who added that the "painstaking" search and recovery operation is proceeding as quickly as possible, but may take "many many weeks".

We know that there are still bodies of those who died inside the building and we want to return those people to their families as soon as we possibly can.

Cundy said police had started a criminal investigation but there was nothing to suggest "that the fire had been started deliberately".

"Where offences have been committed, I will do everything in my gift to make sure they are brought to justice", he said.

While the blaze has prompted an outpouring of generosity, with many people donating provisions and clothes, it has also unleashed rage at the authorities as the charred tower was cast as a deadly symbol of a deeply divided society.

Cundy warned that the toll of 79 people could change.

Jeremy Corbyn's demand that we requisition buildings left vacant by non-dom owners, who see a house as nothing more than a profitable asset on their investment portfolios, and use them to give a home to Grenfell residents must be implemented.

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth

She said her visits to London and Manchester -- the latter the site of a terror attack last month - have highlighted the people who offer comfort and support those affected.

Speculation has focused on the role that cladding apparently used in a recent refurbishment of the tower may have played in the fire.

Some fire experts worry that, with energy efficiency a priority worldwide, the proliferation of "green" buildings has the unintended outcome of fanning fire danger.

She also defended the fire service's advice for people to stay in their flats during tower block fires, saying that evacuating these blocks for every small fire would cause further injuries and hamper efforts to put out smaller blazes.

The Queen said in her statement: "Today is traditionally a day of celebration". "It does not matter why you have not told us, what is important is that we know you are safe". Twenty-four injured survivors are still being treated, 12 of them in critical care.

A group of Grenfell Tower residents, who met the Prime Minister in Downing Street, have criticised the building's estate managers of being "invisible in the aftermath of the tragedy". His concerns began to crystalize in 2010, he said, when he was in South Korea presenting a paper on new technology and fire safety and a cladded high-rise burned.

Photos and videos published by the Metropolitan Police show the gutted wreckage of apartments.

"The key question now is whether the overall design of the building's complete exterior was properly tested and subsequently signed off by the relevant authorities including the fire officer, building compliance officer and architect before commencement of the project".

The remnants of an exercise bike, an oven and washing machine point to the lives of residents in the moments before the blaze.

United Kingdom minister vows London fire inquiry will leave 'no stone unturned'