London tower block fire toll rises to 17, more feared dead

"People deserve answers. The inquiry will give them that", said May, who set aside her efforts to form a new government Thursday to visit the scene of the blaze.

"Identification may take some weeks or even months in some cases because of the state of some of the remains and families need to be updated as to progress on a regular basis and supported at all times", Professor Vanezis said. We need to have an explanation of this.

Queen Elizabeth said her thoughts and prayers were with those families who had lost loved ones and with the many people still critically ill in hospital.

But for now, authorities are still struggling to find out how many people were actually in the 24-storey building when the fire started in the early hours of Wednesday.

The cause of the blaze at the 24-story high-rise is still under investigation. Thirty-seven were still hospitalized on Thursday, with 17 in critical condition.

Some of these councils, including Wandsworth and Sutton, have said they will seek to implement any recommendations from the London Fire Brigade as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire.

"Sadly I can confirm that the number of people who have died is now 17".

"Tragically, now, we are not expecting to find anyone else alive", she said.

Police and Fire Minister Nick Hurd promised the public inquiry will "leave absolutely no stone unturned".

Cotton said it will take some time before crews will be able to comb what's left of the charred building for bodies.

The local Grenfell Action Group had claimed, before and during the refurbishment, that the block constituted a fire risk and residents had warned that access to the site for emergency vehicles was "severely restricted". "The really terrible thing is that we are unaware how many are in the building".

After an overnight fire killed at least 17 and injured more than 70 people, the Grammy victor paid her respects by visiting the scene.

London Police said a criminal investigation had been launched, and Prime Minister Theresa May announced a public inquiry, a type of probe that's used to investigate issues of major public concern. "It has shown the great spirit of the people in response to a tragedy such as this", she said.

Wearing what appeared to be a black abaya, the singer was photographed Wednesday night looking emotional as she stood among a crowd of people. Oh my goodness, it spread so quickly.

One woman lost two of her six children when trying to escape a burning London apartment early on Wednesday morning while others tried to throw their children to safety, witnesses said. She said they had only managed to search about half of the building "in detail".

Local residents say there had been repeated warnings about the safety of the building, which recently underwent an $11.1 million exterior refurbishment, which included new external cladding and windows.

Downing Street aides said the goal of May's visit was to get a briefing from emergency services and ensure they had the resources they needed.

  • Leroy Wright