Fires

Grenfell tower fire: More feared dead after London inferno

The number of people presumed dead in the London apartment tower fire earlier this month has risen from the previous count of 79 to 80, investigators said Wednesday.

The number of buildings that failed flammability tests also spiked – from a reported 60 buildings from 25 areas of Great Britain on Sunday to 120. The new information was shared during a regular question-and-answer session that Prime Minister Theresa May held with lawmakers.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain's Labor party, called the disaster a “wake-up call,” Sky News reported.

Corbyn blamed cuts to local authority budgets. “This disregard for working-class communities, the terrible consequences of deregulation and cutting corners – I urge the Prime Minister to come up with the resources needed to test and remove cladding, retrofit sprinklers, properly fund the fire service and the police so that all our communities can truly feel safe in their own homes” Corbyn added.

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May put some of the blame on the Labor party, saying it enacted rules about exterior paneling on towers before she took office. “In 2005 it was a Labor government that introduced the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order which changed the requirement to inspect a building on fire safety from the local fire authority – which was usually the fire brigade – to a responsible person.”

May also appealed for unity, asking for “calm determination” rather than finger pointing. May said temporary accommodation offers had been made to 65 families and more than $2.5 million was being given to support the affected families, through charities and a discretionary fund.

The Grenfell tower went up in flames on June 14, after a refrigerator fire shot up the 24-story building.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.