London police: Grenfell tower fire death toll reaches 30

30 people are now known to have died in the Grenfell Tower fire as emergency services warn that more bodies remain in the burnt-out Kensington tower block.

"They are simply not recognisable because of the fire", Fiona McCormack, from the Metropolitan Police's identification team, said of the victims found inside Grenfell Tower.

Six victims of the blaze have been provisionally identified.

Police also said they have launched a criminal inquiry into the fire.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation, but a tenants' group had complained for years about the risk of a fire.

"We know that at least 30 people have died as a result of this fire".

The prime minister - who faced criticism for not meeting survivors of the tragedy on a visit to the scene on Thursday - said the victims "deserve answers".

Local residents shouted angry questions when London mayor Sadiq Khan paid a visit to the area.

As the fire continued to burn more than 36 hours after the blaze started, police commander Stuart Cundy said he did not expect to find any survivors.

Khan said one of the things the public inquiry will look into is the refurbishment of the tower blocks and whether the tower block was refurbished in a safe way. British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn proposed putting some of them up in empty luxury homes owned by wealthy residents of the area - which is a fairly affluent neighborhood.

Twenty-four people are still in the hospital, 12 of them in critical condition.

Al Manar, a mosque in North Kensington where Grenfell Tower is located, has cancelled i'tikaaf (retreat in a mosque during Ramzan) so that victims can stay there. "Luckily we didn't believe [the phone operator] and got out quickly", Waewta said, noting that it took a while for rescuers to reach them. The process will be very long.

Grief turned to outrage Friday amid reports that materials used in the building's renovation could have fueled the inferno that left dozens dead and missing as it decimated the public housing block.

"It is important to be frank - fires are still breaking out and conditions are very hard and hazardous for the emergency services in the upper levels of the building".

Residents had long said negligence on the part of the building's owners had created unsafe and potentially deadly conditions.

Asked if the death toll could climb to triple figures, he said: "From a personal perspective, I really hope it isn't".

It followed calls for those involved in the building's recent renovation - which many claim posed a major safety risk - to face prosecution.

The statement read: 'My thoughts and prayers are with those families who have lost loved ones in the Grenfell Tower fire and the many people who are still critically ill in hospital.

  • Leroy Wright