UK: London tower may have used banned siding in renovation

Grenfell residents in ‘passionate angry’ exchanges with PM at Downing Street

The British government has announced that a minute's silence will be held at 11am tomorrow to remember those who lost their lives and all those affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower in London.

Trade Minister Greg Hands added that the government is conducting what he called an "urgent inspection" of some 2,500 other tower blocks across Britain to evaluate their safety.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, facing criticism for the government's handling of the disaster, met Saturday with a small group of fire survivors invited to her official residence at 10 Downing Street.

The cause of the massive blaze is still under investigation, but anger has mounted in the community amid reports that the rain-screen cladding on the exterior of Grenfell Tower may have spread the flames.

The images of the 24-storey building being ravaged by fire "should be forever seared into our nation's collective memory", he said.

The exterior cladding reportedly used on Grenfell Tower is banned in the United Kingdom on buildings of that height, a senior minister says. Hands cautioned that officials don't yet have exact details about the renovation that ended just previous year.

The 1974 concrete building had recently been fitted with new insulation cladding. "My understanding is that the cladding in question, this flammable cladding which is banned in Europe and the U.S., is also banned here".

Labour Party lawmaker David Lammy said that the government and the police should immediately seize all documents relating to the building's renovation to prevent the destruction of evidence that could show criminal wrongdoing.

'Whilst our teams have been from the bottom to the top of the tower, we must now carry out a full forensic and systematic search.

"When the truth comes out about this tragedy, we may find that there is blood on the hands of a number of organisations", Lammy said. She said Britain remains "resolute in the face of adversity" after the horrendous fire and recent extremist attacks in London and Manchester. He has not provided details about the inquiry.

"There is a feeling from the community that they've been treated badly because some of them are poor, some of them may come from deprived backgrounds, some of them may be asylum seekers and refugees". 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.

Alongside both police and fire investigations into the blaze, she has promised to set up a public inquiry. She also says she will receive daily reports from the stricken neighborhood.

Faith leaders also called for "immediate action" to provide counselling and support services to ensure health and wellbeing to all those who are suffering, particularly the children.

Commander of the Metropolitan Police Stuart Cundy said in a statement that a recovery operation, which was briefly suspended for security reasons, had been resumed and family liaison officers were dealing with 52 families.

The Home Office has assisted Alhajali's family in "making arrangements for their travel to the UK" from Syria, and more than 85,000 people have signed a petition calling for his parents to be granted visas so they can attend his funeral.

Police and fire experts have said the fire was so intense that the process of identifying human remains will take weeks, if not months — and some victims may never be found. Police say at least 58 people are either confirmed or presumed dead, with the figure likely to rise in coming days.

Officials are using dental records, fingerprints and DNA samples to try and positively identify victims. 16 bodies have been recovered from the Tower and taken to a mortuary.

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