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London fire: Railway track near tower blaze closed due to debris risk

A fire that engulfed a London tower block this week killed at least 58 people, police say, as Prime Minister Theresa May admits the response from the authorities has not been good enough.

A fire investigation report into the devastating blaze at Grenfell Tower in west London will not be released publicly until the opening of full inquests into those who have died - which could take years.

Experts believe the building's new exterior cladding, which contained insulation, helped spread the flames quickly up the outside of the public housing tower early Wednesday.

"Both myself and colleagues from London Fire Brigade have already said it will take weeks".

Treasury chief Philip Hammond said Sunday he believes the flammable cladding used on the building's exterior is banned in Britain. The group past year completed a 10 million pound ($12.8 million) renovation that included new outside insulation panels, double-paned windows and a communal heating system. "We need to find out precisely what cladding was used and how it was attached".

One opposition lawmaker urged the Conservative government and police to immediately seize all documents related to the tower renovation.

"I have friends in the tower and they are not telling us anything", said Salwa Buamani, 25, who came with her three-year-old niece on her shoulders. Organizers handed out fliers that read, "Your anger must be heard".

Commander Stuart Cundy, a spokesman for London's Metropolitan Police, also cautioned there may have been people in the tower that police are not aware of, which would add to the death toll. He has not provided details about the inquiry.

Although police did not speculate on the eventual number of fatalities, local community sources say at least 70 from Grenfell Tower are still missing, including entire families.

"He said his horror began when they saw the "flaming orange" block, adding: "'It was like a giant had taken a flaming sword and cut a diagonal swathe top to bottom".

That's partly to avoid repeated, unnecessary evacuations that cause people eventually to ignore such orders when they really matter. Hundreds have been left homeless, putting more pressure on officials in a city plagued by a chronic housing shortage.

Prime Minister Theresa May also finally met survivors of the horrific blaze on Friday, but was booed and jeered as she rushed past under a police guard.

"Today is traditionally a day of celebration", Queen Elizabeth said in a statement.

In addition, British health authorities will provide long-term bereavement counselling for those who lost loved ones in the tragedy.

"We have family liaison officers supporting and working with a number of families".

As the demand for answers grew, May announced an inquiry into the tragedy, and police said they were opening a criminal investigation, evidently to determine if negligence had led to the lethal blaze.

His family said in a statement that Alhajali "came to the United Kingdom because he had ambitions and aims for his life and for his family".

Officials are using dental records, fingerprints, DNA samples, tattoos and scars to try and positively identify victims.

Among the questions being asked are whether the owner of the building took any shortcuts in its use of construction materials, including the installation of external cladding, part of a renovation completed past year, that may have accelerated the fire's spread: It took only 15 minutes to take hold across the tower block.



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