Updated: 16/06/17 : 07:39:45
Printable Version   Bookmark and Share Share This


World :: London tower block death toll could exceed 100

At least 17 people died in a massive fire that engulfed a west London block of flats, police said, as they warned that figure could rise further and could exceed 100.

Earlier, the fire service said rescuers did not expect to find any more survivors in the smouldering ruins of Grenfell Tower, in north Kensington.

Sniffer dogs are to be sent in to search for evidence and identification of people still inside.

The Queen has said her "thoughts and prayers" are with families.

People have been desperately seeking news of missing family and friends.

More than 30 people remain in hospital - 17 of whom are in a critical condition.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who made a brief private visit to the scene, has promised a full investigation, as questions are asked about the speed at which the fire spread.

Later, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn told community leaders "the truth has to come out" on a separate visit to the site.

Firefighters were called to the 24-storey residential tower in the early hours of Wednesday, at a time when hundreds of people were inside, most of them sleeping.

Many were woken by neighbours, or shouts from below, and fled the building. Fire crews rescued 65 adults and children, but some stayed in their homes, trapped by smoke and flames.

Scotland Yard have launched a criminal investigation into the fire after it emerged that cladding panels similar to those likely to have been used on the 24-storey building have been widely prohibited on tall buildings in the US since 2012.

Panels designed to improve energy efficiency were fitted to the block in a £9million refurbishment completed in May last year, ordered by the firm who manages the tower.

But they were filled with foam insulation that “went up like matchsticks” in the blaze.