Britain Left 'Sombre' By London Tower Fire, Says Queen Elizabeth II

Some 19 patients are still being treated in hospital, of whom 10 are in a critical condition, the National Health Service said Saturday.

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Britain Left 'Sombre' By London Tower Fire, Says Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth visited a community centre where some of the survivors are being housed.

London:  Queen Elizabeth II said Britain was left sombre by the London tower block inferno, as Prime Minister Theresa May, accused of misreading the mood, met survivors on Saturday at Downing Street.

As public anger swelled at the unknown death toll -- there are 30 confirmed fatalities so far, with dozens more unaccounted for -- Downing Street said May was meeting a 15-strong group of victims, residents and volunteer workers at her office.

Furious residents heckled May and stormed the local authority headquarters on Friday, demanding justice for the victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster, claiming the fatal blaze was due to negligence.

"It was a death trap and they knew it," one person shouted as demonstrators stormed inside the offices of the Kensington and Chelsea council, which was responsible for managing the 1970s social housing block in a working-class enclave of one of Britain's richest areas.

Some 19 patients are still being treated in hospital, of whom 10 are in a critical condition, the National Health Service said Saturday. The emergency services expect to find no more survivors from Wednesday's tragedy.

More than 70 people reportedly remain unaccounted for and the area surrounding the tower has been plastered by distraught relatives with pictures of the missing, from grandparents to young children.

Resolve in adversity

May chaired a government task force on the disaster at 10 Downing Street early Saturday before meeting a delegation of residents, victims, volunteers and community leaders at her office.

The group, most dressed in casual clothes, did not speak to reporters on their way in. 

May was criticised for avoiding locals when she visited the burnt-out shell of the 24-storey tower on Thursday and faced cries of "Shame on you" and "coward" when she returned the following day.

Dozens of police officers held back booing crowds and broke up scuffles as her car drove off from a local church, where she had met survivors, residents and volunteers.

In a television interview, she sidestepped questions over whether she had misread the public mood. 

Queen Elizabeth and her grandson Prince William visited a community centre on Friday where some of the survivors are being housed, and where volunteers have been inundated with donations of clothes and food.

The head of state said a saddened country was showing resolve in the face of adversity and a determination to rebuild lives wrecked by "terrible" tragedy.

She stood for a minute's silence at the start of her birthday parade on Saturday. 

"It is difficult to escape a very sombre national mood," she said in a message marking the event. 

"I have been profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need.

"United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favour, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss."

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