London tower fire toll at 79, impossible to identify all
Scotland Yard on Monday confirmed at least 79 people perished in last week’s blaze in west London but said it may not be possible to identify all the dead due to the intensity of the fire in the wealthy Kensington and Chelsea borough.
The blaze not only raised a series of questions about levels of inequality in London and British society, but also singed politics after Prime Minister Theresa May was barracked for her allegedly cold response to the tragedy.
The number of the dead may change as investigations progress, police said.
Separate inquiries have been ordered by the police and government, as the media published images on Monday of the charred remains inside the 24-storey Grenfell Tower. Several people remained in hospitals.
Kensington and Chelsea ranks among the wealthiest boroughs in the UK, but also includes pockets that are among the most deprived, including the area around the tower.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for homes to be " requisitioned if necessary” to house those left homeless by the disaster: “It is hardly acceptable that in London you have luxury buildings and luxury flats kept empty, as land banks for the future, while the homeless and the poor look for somewhere to live.” Official data suggests the Kensington and Chelsea borough has more empty properties than any other borough in London, numbering nearly 1,400 properties classified as “long-term vacant” or empty for more than six months. Queen Elizabeth visited the site, which was compared to the visit of May, who confined herself to speaking to police.
Queen Elizabeth visited the site and met victims, contrary to Prime Minister May, who confined herself to speaking to police.