London apartment blaze: Firefighter's despair he 'could have done more'

The death toll of the London tower block fire has risen to 58, police said yesterday. He also explained that the figure was based on reports from the public and feared it might go up.

Trade Minister Greg Hands said the government is carrying out an "urgent inspection" of the roughly 2,500 similar tower blocks across Britain to assess their safety, while an opposition lawmaker urged the government to quickly secure documents in the Grenfell renovation for the criminal probe.

A young girl evacuated amid the Grenfell Tower fire and a man saved from the 19th floor of the burning building moved the Prime Minister to "well up" as she listened to their harrowing accounts.

Prime Minister Theresa May in particular has been criticised for failing to meet victims during a visit to the site of the incident.

The first victim to be formally identified was Mohammed Alhajali, a 23-year-old Syrian refugee, who came to Britain in 2014 with his brother.

United Kingdom government must work quickly on an inquiry and consider tearing down similar tower blocks, says London mayor.

Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II observed a minute of silence, along with her husband, Prince Philip, before the annual parade marking her official birthday.

Experts say the cladding and the insulation it contained seems to have spread the flames quickly along the exterior of the building, overwhelming safety devices like fire doors.

Officials have yet to answer several key questions: What caused the fire, could it have been prevented and why aren't people getting the aid they desperately need now?

He said: "I've spent time with the local community, not just the Christian congregation, but members of all faiths here at the church, grieving, sharing their stories".

Those who lost their homes would be rehoused within three weeks, she said. Hundreds have been left homeless, putting more pressure on officials in a city plagued by a chronic housing shortage.

Speaking outside after the service, which he attended with his wife Saadiya, he said people 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 government has set up a £5 million ($6.4 million, 5.7 million euros) emergency fund for the Grenfell Tower residents, allocating a minimum £5,500 to each household with £500 cash payments already being handed out.

He said that feeling of being ignored was a source of much "deep frustration", and told how people had been left feeling "that decisions are taken about their lives and their homes that they are not party to".

Londoners and others have also donated huge amounts of food, water and clothing, and shelter, to survivors.

Some 110 families are reported to have been given temporary accommodation by in hotels within the local area.

"We are here today because you must look at that building with tears streaming down your face", one woman told the group as they neared the foot of the tower.

"We've always been advocates of automatic fire sprinkler protection in tall tower blocks and they work - people don't die in sprinkler buildings", he said.

"We were seeking a change to the building regulations for that very goal". He said he was "heartbroken by the tragic fire and the appalling loss of life".

A fire department spokesman said crews are working to secure the debris so that two subway lines could be reopened as soon as possible.

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