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London fire: Police boss hopes fatalities 'don't reach triple figures'

16 June 2017

Police Commander Stuart Cundy said that the confirmed death toll stood at 17 early Thursday, but added that "we believe this number will sadly increase", adding that it would be "too distressing" to guess at the likely eventual number.

"We are unaware of how many people are in the building", Dany Cotton, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade said.

"Furthermore it will probably be some time before all victims are located due to the sheer difficulty of fire fighters working in a building which is unsafe and will require a meticulous search of the debris".

"Right now, people want answers and it's absolutely right and that's why I am today ordering a full public inquiry into this disaster", said May, who visited the scene on Thursday to meet members of the emergency services. "And he is a professional fire officer", Cotton told Sky News. But the focus has turned to renovations completed previous year that added decorative touches to the building. As I have stated many times, I have never experienced anything like this in my career. "We owe that to the families, to the people who have lost loved ones, friends, and the homes in which they lived".

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Singer Adele was pictured comforting fans at a vigil for those affected by the blaze which ripped through the Grenfell Tower yesterday, which left 17 people dead.

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn separately visited north Kensington on Thursday morning in the wake of the fire.

London Police said an investigation had been launched to determine whether the blaze involved any crimes and Prime Minister Theresa May announced a public inquiry, a type of probe that's used to investigate issues of major public concern.

Survivors spent the night at emergency shelters, as charities and local support groups were flooded with donations of clothes and bedding from shocked Londoners.

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The government department in charge of regulating building work - the Department for Communities and Local Government - did not respond to Reuters' questions, including whether such fire barriers were required by law.

So much food, clothing, shoes and other items have been coming in that the centers, churches and mosques have had to start turning away new donations.

The partial collapse of Ronan Point Tower in east London in 1968 led to an overhaul of building regulations.

The search and rescue operation continued amid rising outrage over reports that the company which managed the block for the local Conservative-run council had ignored warnings from residents about the building's safety.

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Firefighters are still looking for people through the charred high-rise.