'We want justice!' Grenfell Tower fire protesters storm Kensington Town Hall

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 19, 2017

British Prime Minister Theresa May is promising a comprehensive package of help for victims of the devastating fire at a west London apartment building.

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.

Almost 110 families made homeless from the blaze are being housed at hotels in west London.

May's office confirmed Friday that the government was pledging £5 million ($6.39 million) of support in the form of housing guarantees and help with access to cash and bank accounts.

Protesters ran into the town hall after Mr Almansur read the council's statement to the crowd.

Hundreds of people, gathered outside the town hall, said they wanted answers over the Grenfell Tower disaster.

More than 70 people are unaccounted for, according to media reports, although it was not known whether some of those were among the bodies recovered so far.

A tenant group had complained for years about the risk of a fire in the building, owned by the local government in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Earlier, protesters stormed Kensington and Chelsea town hall, the headquarters of the local authority which oversaw the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.

People are chanting "We want justice".

Vanezis said the best chance to identify victims may be if firefighters find any bits of teeth or bone, medical devices like pacemakers or any artificial implants.

Fire safety engineers were stunned at how rapidly the fire spread, engulfing the building in less than an hour in the middle of the night and preventing firefighters from reaching many people inside.

More than £2million has been raised to help those affected by the fire, with more than 60 tonnes of donations collected by one local mosque.

Local branches of Barclays have been helping residents to obtain same-day replacements for debit cards, and making emergency overdraft facilities available.

The fire broke out less than a week after a election in which May lost her parliamentary majority.

After a tumultuous week that pitched Britain into its deepest political crisis since the Brexit referendum a year ago, May's future was already uncertain due to her failed gamble on a snap election.

May met victims privately at a central London hospital on Friday and had expressed her sorrow on television on Thursday after meeting emergency services personnel.

"I'm not here to blame anyone, that's not my concern", she said. Like many other residents she has spent the days following the fire living in temporary shelters with minimal sleep, printing and distributing posters wherever she can.

The move came after strong criticism from London's mayor, Sadiq Khan.

"People are terrified that the same thing could happen to them", said Khan.

However, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who was London mayor until a year ago, took to Facebook to attack opposition Labour politicians for "political game playing".

Queen Elizabeth II, the opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Mayor Khan have all met the block's former residents during their visits.

Harley Facades, which fitted the panels, said in a statement: "At this time, we are not aware of any link between the fire and the exterior cladding".

Some desperate residents pleaded to speak to the queen and her grandson about their plight and the fate of missing children as they left the site, with William promising he would return.

"There is nothing to suggest at this time that the fire was..."

Meanwhile, Metropolitan Police commander Stuart Cundy responded to speculation that the number of dead could exceed 100, saying: "From a personal perspective, I really hope it isn't". The toll is expected to rise.

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