Emergency services are spending a third day searching for bodies.
LONDON — The Metropolitan Police confirmed on Friday afternoon that at least 30 people died in the catastrophic fire that ripped through a 24-story residential tower block in west London on Wednesday.
The death toll is expected to rise while emergency services are spending a third day searching for bodies inside Grenfell Tower. Police said they may never be able to identify all the bodies of those who died. Sixty-nine others were injured, with 17 in critical care.
The cause of the fire is not yet known, but police do not believe it was started on purpose. "Based on what we know, there is nothing to suggest at this time that the fire was started deliberately," authorities said in Friday's press conference.
The fire has now been extinguished, police said, after the London Fire Brigade was first called to the scene after midnight on Wednesday.
Several hundred people would have been in the block when the fire broke out, according to Kensington and Chelsea council.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared it as a "major incident," while Commissioner Dany Cotton told reporters: "In my 29 years as a firefighter, I have never, ever seen anything on this scale."
Prime Minister Theresa May will visit victims of the fire in hospital later on Friday after she was criticised for not meeting local residents yesterday.
Prime Minister Theresa May ordered a full public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster and said it was right that "this terrible tragedy is properly investigated." It follows her visiting the scene in west London on Thursday morning.
"We need to know what happened. We need to have an explanation for this. We owe that to the families, to the people who have lost loved ones, friends, and the homes in which they lived," the PM added. "People deserve answers, the inquiry will give them."
However, May and several of her closest cabinet ministers and aides are being blamed for the fire:
May has also been heavily criticised for her approach towards the victims. May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn both visited the scene of the Grenfell Tower disaster on Thursday, but many have pointed to the differences in their time at the site.