Protesters storm town hall after London fire

Emergency workers wheel away a body from the fire-gutted Grenfell Tower in London

Emergency workers wheel away a body from the fire-gutted Grenfell Tower in London

The death toll from the Grenfell Tower block fire in west London has reached 79, the Metropolitan Police confirmed Monday.

Britain held a moment of silence for the victims today, with emergency service workers bowing their heads in respect.

Railway tracks run in front of the charred remains of the Grenfell Tower block in Kensington, west London, on June 17, following the June 14 fire at the residential building.

One focus is the exterior cladding used in the renovation: Senior ministers of the British government say it appears to have been banned under United Kingdom building codes.

Engineering experts and fire safety specialists believe the building's exterior cladding may have quickly fueled the blaze, overwhelming fire protection devices.

Scotland Yard has said the rescue operation by emergency services on the site will take weeks and the death toll is also expected to rise further, though not all victims may be identified due to the nature of the burns.

Vowing to be the "champion of the people", he said lessons must be learned from the tragedy, which is feared to have claimed the lives of at least 58 people.

"We woke them up to die", a man who tried to warn Grenfell Tower residents of the devastating fire has said.

In this photo released by the Metropolitan Police on Sunday, June 18, 2017, a firefighter stands outside of the Grenfell Tower after fire engulfed the 24-storey building, in London.

Cmdr Cundy added that authorities are investigating whether any crimes had been committed in the fire.

"My understanding is that the cladding that was reported wasn't in accordance with United Kingdom building regulations", Hands told Sky News.

Prime Minister Theresa May, already facing severe political problems trying to form a government after losing her majority in Parliament, was heckled when she visited the site on Thursday and criticized for taking too long to meet with survivors, the AP reported.

Following the fire, the building's safety precautions have been called into question, with some saying cladding - building material usually attached directly to the frame of a building to act as an outer wall to provide insulation and protection from the elements - caused the fire to spread.

Speculation has focused on the role that cladding apparently used in a recent refurbishment of the tower may have played in the fire.

"I have ordered that more staff be deployed across the area, wearing high visibility clothing, so they can easily be found, dispense advice and ensure the right support is provided", May said after a meeting with survivors at her Downing Street office on Saturday.

He said there are 79 people "either dead or missing, and I sadly have to presume [they] are dead".

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