Authorities in London said Saturday that 58 people missing are presumed dead from this week’s fire disaster at a high-rise tower.
The update from police came as Prime Minster Theresa May met for more than two hours with survivors of the blaze at her office at 10 Downing Street. May has faced a barrage of criticism for the government’s initial response to the tragedy at Grenfell Tower. The presumed dead includes 30 people authorities previously confirmed perished in the Wednesday morning blaze at the public housing complex.
Following the meeting, May issued in a statement in which she acknowledged that “support on the ground for families that needed help or basic information in the initial hours after this appalling disaster was not good enough.”
She said that the government has begun distributing funds from a $6.4 million emergency fund created to assist victims of the blaze, and housing officials are conducting safety checks of other public high-rise towers in London. May also said that she has set a deadline of three weeks for all the survivors of the Grenfell fire to be placed in new housing.
“I have heard the concerns and I have ordered immediate action across the board to help victims’ relatives and the survivors,” May said.
Hundreds of angry protesters gathered outside 10 Downing Street on Saturday, raising chants that called May a “coward,” British media reported. Protesters are demanding to know why long-standing fire safety concerns raised by a tenants’ group about the public housing tower, tucked in the city’s ritzy North Kensington neighborhood, had not been addressed. They also expressed anger that the prime minister did not meet with survivors or victims of the fire when she initially visited the neighborhood following the tragedy.
“She’s a coward…