The Latest: Critics see class divisions in London tower fire
Posted June 15
LONDON — The Latest on the London high-rise fire (all times local):
Anger about the Grenfell Tower fire disaster in London is being fueled by the feeling that safety problems with the building were ignored because the residents are mainly poor people in a largely affluent community.
The public housing block is located in a neighborhood that ranks among England's most-deprived areas — in the lowest 10 percent, according to government data for 2015. Yet the community sits adjacent to neighborhoods that are among the richest in Britain, even the world. Notting Hill and Holland Park are home to celebrities and investment bankers, with properties costing millions.
A musician who goes by the name of Akala told Britain's Channel 4 television on Thursday that "the people who died and lost their homes, this happened to them because they are poor." He says "there is no way that rich people live in a building without adequate fire safety."
At least 17 people died in the inferno early Wednesday, and police are searching for an unknown number of others who remain missing.
London police have clarified comments by a police commander, saying that an investigation has been launched to establish what happened in the fatal fire in west London — and that it remains to be seen whether it will be a criminal case.
Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy says senior officers are leading the investigation into the fire that killed 17 people as it devastated the 24-story Grenfell Tower public housing block.
Cundy said earlier Thursday that "as the police, we investigate criminal offenses. I am not sitting here and saying there are criminal offenses that have been committed, that's why you do an investigation."
Political pressure is increasing following the inferno early Wednesday. Police are still searching for an unknown number of missing people after the fire.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan is being confronted by angry people near the deadly high-rise fire in west London as the fury of Grenfell Tower residents boils over.
Khan says Thursday on his Facebook page that the community deserves answers — and quickly. A fire early Wednesday raced through the public housing tower, killing at least 17 people. Police are still looking for an unknown number of missing — a process they say could take some time.
Khan says "I grew up in a similar council estate in South London and this could have easily been my family, my friends, and my community. I share their anger and concern."
London police say a criminal investigation has been launched in the wake of the fatal fire in west London.
Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy says senior officers are leading the investigation into the fire that devastated the 24-story Grenfell Tower public housing block.
Cundy says Thursday that "as the police, we investigate criminal offenses. I am not sitting here and saying there are criminal offenses that have been committed, that's why you do an investigation."
Political pressure is increasing following the inferno that killed at least 17 people at the apartment building in London. Residents of Grenfell say their fears about fire safety had been ignored for years by local government authorities.
Police are still searching for an unknown number of missing people after the fire.
London Police are expressing concern that they may not be able to identify all of the people who died in the tragic west London apartment tower fire.
Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy says the recovery of the remains at the charred 24-story tower will take some time. He says it may be weeks or even months before a full search of the building can take place.
Cundy says "there is a risk that, sadly, we may not be able to identify everybody."
Police say that 17 people died in the fire and that figure is expected to rise significantly.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered a full public inquiry into the inferno that swept through the public housing block within an hour Wednesday morning. Residents say their fears about fire safety had been ignored for years.
A lawyer for the family of an Italian woman missing in the London high-rise fire says she told her mom in a final call: "Flames are in the living room."
Lawyer Maria Cristina Sandrin said Thursday that the mother let her hear several recordings of phone calls that Gloria Trevisan, who lived on the 23rd floor of the Grenfell Tower with her Italian boyfriend, made to her home in Italy while the fire raged.
Sandrin described the last call as "a farewell" in which Trevisan, 27, thanked her mother for all she had done. In the final conversation, Trevisan said: "The flames are in the living room. There are flames around us.'"
Trevisan's boyfriend, Marco Gottardi, is also missing. He told his father in separate calls that suffocating smoke in the stairs kept them inside their apartment and awaiting rescue.
At least 17 people died in Wednesday's high-rise fire in London and firefighters are still searching for others still missing.
Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered a full public inquiry into the high-rise fire in West London.
The British leader made the decision Thursday shortly after making a private visit to the site where at least 17 people were killed in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but experts have said that it was highly unusual because of the speed with which the tower was engulfed in flame.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has toured the area near the west London tower block devastated by a fire, meeting with volunteers helping victims and promising to get to the bottom of what happened.
Corbyn said Thursday that "the truth has got to come out and will come out" as he visited volunteers helping after the Grenfell Tower fire in which at least 17 people died and hundreds were left homeless.
Earlier, Prime Minister Theresa May met with emergency services during a private visit to the site. She returned to Downing Street without making any remarks.
Relatives of two young Italian architects say they are missing in the London high-rise fire and are hoping for a miracle.
Gloria Trevisan and Marco Gottardi, both 27, lived on the 23rd floor of Grenfell Tower. Relatives also told Italian media that the couple had assured their family in Italy in phone calls that they would be rescued, since suffocating smoke made it impossible to go down the stairs.
The two moved to London in March and quickly found work as architects.
Gottardi's father, Giannino Gottardi, told ANSA he was talking to his son as late as 4:07 a.m. (0207 GMT Wednesday; 10:07 p.m. Tuesday), "then they told us their apartment had been invaded by smoke," and the call ended.
The couple's names weren't on hospital lists, ANSA reported.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has visited the site of the high-rise blaze in west London, touring the devastation that killed at least 17 people.
May didn't speak with journalists during the visit. On Wednesday, she promised a "proper investigation" into the cause of the blaze.
Authorities say the death toll is expected to rise, but they haven't been able to provide a specific figure for the number of people missing.
London police say that the death toll in the apartment building fire has increased to 17 people and is likely to rise even further.
Police Commander Stuart Cundy says that there is no suggestion the blaze was terror-related. Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton says specialist dogs would start searching the 24-story building.
Meanwhile, 44 households were given emergency accommodation after the blaze ripped through the tower on Wednesday. The local council says families with young children, elderly residents and the vulnerable were given "immediate priority."
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip have paid tribute to London firefighters whose bravery prevented a greater loss of life in the high-rise fire.
The monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh also have hailed volunteers offering support to dozens of victims from the devastating blaze.
The queen says "Prince Philip and I would like to pay tribute to the bravery of firefighters and other emergency services officers who put their own lives at risk to save others."
At least 12 people have been killed in the fire, but the death toll is expected to rise.
London's fire commissioner says that firefighters have been traumatized by the devastation they witnessed during a high-rise apartment blaze that killed at least 12 people.
Firefighters have extinguished the last of the flames at the 24-story and are now working to make the building safe so they can continue the search for more victims.
Entire families are missing, and the death toll is certain to rise. Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton told Sky would be a miracle if anyone were to be found alive.
Cotton says that firefighters are having trouble with the aftermath. She says "we like to think of ourselves as 'roughty, toughty' and heroes —they are heroes —but they have feelings, and people were absolutely devastated."
London's fire commissioner says it will be a miracle if any survivors are found following a devastating high-rise fire that killed at least 12 people. Authorities have said many more victims are expected.
Dany Cotton told Sky News that authorities don't expect to find anyone else alive after the blaze and that it's too early to speculate on how it started.
She said early Thursday that authorities have finally extinguished the last pockets of flame, and are trying to secure edges of the building for a fingertip search.
--A previous version of this item has corrected the day of Cotton's comments to Thursday, not Wednesday.
Community centers in London have been overwhelmed by the number of donations flooding in for those left homeless by a high-rise apartment building fire.
So much food, clothing, shoes and other items have been coming in that the centers, churches and mosques have had to start turning away new donations. At least 12 people have been killed in the inferno at the 24-story building, with the death toll expected to rise. Dozens of others have been hospitalized.
Missing people posters have been put up throughout the north London neighborhood of North Kensington. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has offered free food for survivors at one of his nearby eateries.
London fire investigators are painstakingly searching for more victims of an inferno that engulfed a high-rise apartment building and killed at least 12 residents.
Authorities say the death toll is expected to rise as emergency workers sift through more of the wreckage on Thursday.
The fire early Wednesday in the 24-story building in west London's North Kensington district also injured dozens, 18 of them critically, and left an unknown number missing. The cause of the blaze is under investigation, but a tenants' group had complained for years about the risk of a fire.
More than 1 million pounds ($1.27 million) has been raised to help victims of the tragedy as volunteers and charities worked through the night to find shelter and food for people who lost their homes.