At least 30 people have been confirmed killed in the fire that consumed a London tower block, police say. Officers expect the number to rise when a comprehensive search of the tower is possible.
The death toll from the blaze that consumed a London tower block earlier this week has risen to 30, police said on Friday. They expect that figure to increase. Twenty-four people remain in hospital, with 12 in critical care
"We know that at least 30 people have died as a result of this fire," Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy told reporters on Friday, adding that the blaze did not appear to have resulted from arson. "We have examined the original location where the fire started, and there is nothing to suggest at this time that the fire was started deliberately," he said.
Officials expressed little hope of finding survivors. It is still unclear what set off the fire, which engulfed the 24-story building in the early hours of Wednesday morning, but, after visiting the site on Thursday, British Prime Minister Theresa May called for a public inquiry into the disaster.
"We need to know what happened," May said in a televised statement. "We need to have an explanation of this. People deserve answers. The inquiry will give them."
London Mayor Sadiq Khan also visited the site on Thursday. "Understandably, the residents are very angry and concerned," he said.
Residents had long said negligence on the part of the building's owners had created dangerous and potentially deadly conditions. In a blog post from November, the Grenfell Action Group warned that only a "catastrophic event" would "bring an end to the dangerous living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation."
mkg/se (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)