2nd LD: Protesters storm local town hall over London fire


At least 30 people died after a blaze took hold in the early hours of Wednesday and engulfed the tower block in west London which housed some 600 residents in more than 120 apartments.

"My understanding is the cladding in question, this flammable cladding which is banned in Europe and the U.S., is also banned here", Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond told the BBC's "The Andrew Marr Show". One, are our regulations correct, do they permit the right kind of materials and ban the wrong kind of materials? And obviously that will be a subject the inquiry will look at. Scotland Yard has opened a separate criminal investigation.

"Something's gone wrong here, something's gone drastically wrong", Communities and Local Government Minister Sajid Javid told BBC radio.

Housing Minister Alok Sharma told lawmakers on Thursday that a consultation document was close to completion when the general election was called, and it would now be revised to reflect on the Grenfell Tower fire.

He said that there are strict requirements in Britain on materials used in cladding and that there was no evidence that those rules had been flouted.

Exterior panelling known as cladding that was recently installed on the 24-storey Grenfell Tower is increasingly being cited as a factor in the blaze that killed at least 30 people and left dozens of others still missing. Nineteen people remained in hospital as of Saturday afternoon, of whom 10 were receiving critical care.

But fury has grown in the local community at what people say is the slow response from authorities to the fire and a failure to inform families and friends about the fate of loved ones.

The government also faced questions about failing to act after a similar fire in 2009.

Engineering experts and fire safety specialists believe the building's exterior cladding may have quickly fueled the blaze, overwhelming fire protection devices. "If something needs to be done to make buildings safe it will be done". "The tower block is more strong and stable than that woman's government".

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Grenfell Tower had been home to 500 people, among them the disabled, the poor and others seeking an affordable place to live in a city that's increasingly unaffordable for all but the wealthiest.

"Trust is very, very low". A new sign was put up, removing that detail.

"I was with the Grenfell survivors last night".

Grenfell Tower residents had complained for years to the management organization - and to the borough council - that they feared that their building was unsafe.

The Labour Party is Britain's main opposition party.

There is simmering anger in the multi-ethnic Kensington area hit by the blaze, and public fury has been directed at senior government figures, including Prime Minister Theresa May, when they visited the stricken area. When protesters heard the news, they responded: "It's not enough, we've basically raised that much online already". "You get a lot of fragmentation of bodies, charring of bones and sometimes all that's left is ash", said Peter Vanezis, a professor of forensic medical sciences at Queen Mary University in London.

Flowers and posters of missing persons are still taped to the gates of the church, which has been used as a temporary shelter and gathering point for donations.

Locals yelled questions at London Mayor Sadiq Khan when he walked through the neighbourhood yesterday. A blaze at a building in Melbourne, Australia, in 2014 was later directly linked to the type of combustible cladding in place on the structure and triggered an audit of numerous city's high-rises. "We need to find out precisely what cladding was used and how it was attached". "These were hard conversations with a tight-knit community that is understandably distraught, frustrated and increasingly angry". The demonstrators said they were not satisfied.

British officials have announced a nationwide minute of silence to honor the victims on Monday morning.