London tower fire: Death toll rises to 17
Police patrol a security cordon as smoke billows from Grenfell Tower, a residential block in west London. Photograph: (AFP)
Firefighters and police officials were still looking through the destroyed rubble in search of bodies after a 24-storey residential tower in west London was destroyed by a fire. So far 17 bodies have been discovered, a number expected to rise.
"Sadly I can confirm that the number of people that have died is now 17," London police commander Stuart Cundy told reporters.
Hundreds of people have called a number created especially to report loves ones missing following the inferno, which gutted the Grenfell Tower.
Commander Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan police said, while a full search of the building is under way, it is not expected that survivors will be found anywhere inside the building, The Guardian reports.
"The thoughts of all of us from the emergency services...and from all of London, our thoughts will be with those so affected by a fire on a scale that is unprecedented," said Cundy.
While the cause of the fire has yet to be determined, residents are reportedly angry, saying that concerns and complaints about the building's level of safety have been ignored for years, even during a 10 million pound refurbishing, by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the managing company in charge of the block.
London ambulance service has said that 68 patients were being treated in six hospitals, and that 18 were in critical care wards, The Guardian reports.
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said pledged there would be a "proper investigation", and that "action will be taken".
An overnight fire in London has killed at least 6 people and sent more than 64 people to local hospitals. Many are in critical condition (WION)