58 people missing and presumed dead after London tower fire

Protesters in Regent Street London demand justice for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire

Protesters in Regent Street London demand justice for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire Carl Court Getty Images

The fire that consumed London's Grenfell Tower, tragically killing at least 30 people, may have dissipated, but it has once again focused attention on the city's social housing crisis.

Fifty-eight people who were in London's Grenfell Tower are still missing and are presumed to be dead, United Kingdom police announced on Saturday, raising the death toll in an inferno earlier this week that turned the public housing block into a charred ruin.

The fire at the 24-story public housing project broke out early Wednesday.

Detectives investigating the Grenfell Tower fire said the official number of presumed dead "will be higher" than the current figure of 58 as they released new images showing the scale of devastation inside the building.

He said only five people had been formally identified so far by police, after officers earlier warned that some may never be identified due to the condition of the remains. He asked anyone who was in the tower and survived to contact police immediately.

Prime Minister Theresa May met Saturday at 10 Downing Street with the families of some of the victims, along with volunteers and community leaders from the North Kensington neighbourhood where the building caught fire. More than 3 million pounds ($3.8 million) have been raised for the victims, and the British government has announced a 5 million-pound ($6.3 million) emergency fund.

Around 70 people are missing, according to Britain's Press Association, and identification of the victims is proving very hard.

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.

Sadiq Khan spent more than two hours at St Clement's Church in west London on Sunday, as a service remembered victims of the disaster.

Britain will act on any recommendations from a probe into a fire that ripped through an apartment block and killed at least 58 people, ministers said, responding to a tragedy their critics said showed something had gone "badly wrong" in the country.

He said residents are "angry not simply at the poor response in the days afterwards from the council and the government, but the years of neglect from the council and successive governments".

The London Evening Standard reported that hundreds of activists marched to the town hall and gathered outside the building on Friday chanting: "We want justice".

There has been a public outcry at the government's initial failure to provide up-to-the minute information.

Fire safety experts believe that cladding put on the building's exterior during a renovation past year was less fire retardant, which may have fueled the blaze.

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