A grim search for the miss­ing

In­ves­ti­ga­tions launched into cause of deadly London fire

Metro Canada (Ottawa) - - World -

London fire­fight­ers combed through a burned-out pub­lic hous­ing tower Thurs­day in a grim search for miss­ing peo­ple as po­lice and the prime min­is­ter launched in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the deadly in­ferno, with pres­sure build­ing on of­fi­cials to ex­plain the dis­as­ter and as­sure that sim­i­lar build­ings around the coun­try are safe.

At least 17 peo­ple were killed as flames raced through Grenfell Tower early Wed­nes­day, trap­ping peo­ple in­side their apart­ments. Many peo­ple re­mained un­ac­counted for Thurs­day, and of­fi­cials weren’t sure ex­actly how many were miss­ing. But they ex­pected the death toll to rise sig­nif­i­cantly.

London Po­lice said an in­ves­ti­ga­tion had been launched to de­ter­mine whether the blaze in­volved any crimes and Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May an­nounced a pub­lic in­quiry, a type of probe that’s used to in­ves­ti­gate is­sues of ma­jor pub­lic con­cern. In ad­di­tion, London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for an in­terim re­port on the fire to be pub­lished this sum­mer.

An an­gry crowd con­fronted Khan as he vis­ited the high­rise.

“How many chil­dren died? What are you go­ing to do about it?” asked seven-year-old Kai Ramos.

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. Some jumped to their deaths rather than face the flames.

Queen El­iz­a­beth II praised the fire­fight­ers’ brav­ery, and their com­mis­sioner noted the trauma they had seen. One of­fi­cer was in tears af­ter see­ing some­one plunge out a win­dow, Fire Com­mis­sioner Dany Cot­ton told Sky News.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

The scorched fa­cade of the Grenfell Tower in London, af­ter a mas­sive fire raced through the build­ing.

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