79 missing or presumed dead in the Grenfell Tower fire

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79 missing or presumed dead in the Grenfell Tower fire

"This is an incredibly distressing time for families".

The 24-storey tower was engulfed by flames just before 1am last Wednesday.

A public inquiry launched in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy will look at whether they should be retrofitted to older tower blocks, but as former minister and ex-firefighter Mike Penning said: "People have been calling, I think probably rightly, for sprinklers to be installed for many, many years under many different governments".

"It will be imperative that the causes of this fire are fully investigated to determine how such terrible tragedies could be avoided in the future".

Two British officials said Sunday that new exterior cladding used in a renovation of Grenfell Tower may have been banned under United Kingdom building regulations, reported the Associated Press.

Police opened a criminal investigation.

Hands and Treasury chief Philip Hammond said in separate TV appearances that the cladding used on Grenfell seems to be prohibited by British regulations.

"I must consider the fact that there may be others in the building who, for whatever reason have not been reported to us". Some experts speculated the outside layer of insulation and aluminum composite cladding helped the fire to spread.

He complained bitterly that a friend - the young artist Khadija Saye - was still alive three hours after the fire started but was unable to get out of her apartment to safety.

Authorities released images of the aftermath of the horrific Grenfell Tower blaze showing the charred remains of the gutted apartment building as the death toll in the London fire nears 80.

Britain observed a moment of silence at 11 a.m. Monday in remembrance of the victims.

Frustration has been mounting in recent days as information about those still missing in the blaze has been scanty and efforts to find temporary housing for the hundreds of now-homeless tower residents have faltered.

Cundy said five of the dead have been formally identified.

Emergency services have been widely praised for their handling of the disaster, the government has been criticized for a slow and inadequate response, with Prime Minister Theresa May facing public anger for failing to meet residents during her first visit to the site. Counselors are already working with 52 families.

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