Grenfell Tower - photo graphic.
At least 30 people have died in the Grenfell Tower fire, police have revealed.Press Association report continues:
Metropolitan Police commander Stuart Cundy confirmed the death toll as he spoke near the scene of the devastating blaze in west London on Friday.
“I’m able to say at this point in time at least 30 people have died as a result of this fire,” he said.
Mr Cundy said the victims included one person who had died in hospital. “There is nothing to suggest at this time that the fire was started deliberately,” he added.
More than 70 people are believed to be unaccounted for since the blaze, which police fear was so devastating that some victims may never be identified.
Mr Cundy said he expected the death toll to rise further.
He said: “The building itself is in a very hazardous state. It is going to take a period of time for our specialists, both from the police and from the London Fire Brigade, to fully search that building to make sure we locate and recover everybody that has sadly perished in that fire. We will be dong that as swiftly as we can.”
Asked by a seven-year-old boy at the scene “How many children died?”, mayor of London Sadiq Khan replied: “The bad news, I’m afraid, is lots of people died in the fire.” (Yui Mok/PA)
An investigation led by a senior detective from Scotland Yard’s homicide and major crime command is under way with calls for “corporate manslaughter” arrests to be made.
Mr Cundy vowed police “will get to the answer of what has happened and why”, adding: “If criminal offences have been committed it is us who will investigate that.”
On Friday fire crews again used water to damp down the charred building as they began a third day of picking through the tower’s charred remains.
Teams were forced to leave the building on Thursday afternoon when the fire restarted, delaying further the efforts to reach upper floors, where some victims are thought to have been trapped.
The streets around the high rise block in north Kensington are plastered with posters begging for information about those who were in the building.
More appeals were put up overnight on Thursday as relatives became increasingly distraught about their loved ones.
A criminal investigation led by a senior detective from Scotland Yard’s homicide and major crime command is under way with calls for “corporate manslaughter” arrests to be made.
Pictures showing the charred insides of a flat in the tower block reveal blackened appliances lined up against the wall while charred possessions are scattered across the floor.
Meanwhile, experts have said sprinklers could have been fitted in the tower for £200,000, but Nick Paget-Brown, the Tory leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, said there was not a “collective view” among residents in favour of installing them.
One of the first victims was named as 23-year-old Syrian refugee Mohammed Alhajali, with the Syria Solidarity Campaign director Kareen El Beyrouty launching a campaign towards funeral costs.
The appeal said: “Mohammed Alhajali undertook a dangerous journey to flee war in Syria, only to meet death here in the UK, in his own home. His dream was to be able to go back home one day and rebuild Syria.”
Water is sprayed on Grenfell Tower by fire crews (Rick Findler/PA)
Prime Minister Theresa May, who has faced criticism for failing to meet survivors when she visited the scene on Thursday, has ordered a full public inquiry into the disaster in response to mounting anger that the fire might have been preventable.
Mr Khan has demanded an interim report to be published this summer and for the inquiry to examine whether the block was refurbished safely.
More than £1 million has been raised to help those affected by the fire, with more than 60 tonnes of donations collected by one local mosque.