London tower toll rises to 79

Although police did not speculate on the eventual number of fatalities, local community sources say at least 70 from Grenfell Tower are still missing, including entire families.

"It's hard to describe the devastation the fire has caused", Cundy said, fighting back tears as he spoke.

"Sadly, at this time there are 58 people who we have been told were in Grenfell Tower on the night that are missing and therefore sadly I have to assume that they are dead", Cundy said.

Police said the death toll could change.

"All I can say is to my certain knowledge the council, councillors, volunteers, community groups, officers of the council, have been present in North Kensington since very soon after they were notified that the fire had started".

On Sunday Chancellor Philip Hammond said there would be an investigation to see if building rules had been violated in reference to the cladding which had swathed the building, allegedly to improve the view from nearby luxury flats, and may have accelerated the blaze.

He said it was "humbling" to attend before meeting with many members of the congregation as well as other people who turned up to speak to him.

"The bad reality, as I've said before, is that due to the intensity of the fire and the devastation within Grenfell Tower that we may not be able to identify everybody that died", Cundy told reporters.

Sadiq Khan spent more than two hours at St Clement's Church in west London on Sunday, as a service remembered victims of the disaster.

Residents who met Mrs May in Downing Street over the weekend said while they welcomed the funding they had not been consulted before the announcement was made.

Speaking outside Scotland Yard, Mr Cundy added: "I have investigated major crime for most of my service and I have seen some awful things".

"I think she has done everything that could have been asked. listening to residents' concerns and, above all, acting on those concerns as quickly as possible".

"It's hard to describe my feelings, because I can not imagine, and I would not want to put myself in the position of those families who have lost their loved ones".

May, whose political position was already weakened by a poor showing in parliamentary elections last week, announced the government would immediately provide 5 million pounds ($6.39 million, 5.7 million euros) to help victims of the fire.

  • Zachary Reyes