Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

London's Grenfell Tower fire death toll rises to 17

The Grenfell tower on the Lancaster West Estate in North Kensington in the city of London caught fire in the early hours of Wednesday. Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton told Sky would be a miracle if anyone were to be found alive.

Local police said, "A number of people being treated for a range of injuries".

While saying that the process would be "slow and painstaking" because of the severity of the fire, she said there would be internal structures propped up to make sure the floors are secure for forces to search the block.

London police has announced that the death toll is expected to rise with over a dozen patients in critical condition.

Prime Minister Theresa May promised an investigation and visited the site on Thursday.

More than 200 firefighters, backed up by 40 fire engines, fought for hours to try to control the blaze, London's deadliest for a generation.

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A 40 metre aerial appliance was brought in from Surrey Fire and Rescue Service to help with this.

"We are the brokers in the case and we are working closely with our client to assist in whatever capacity we can", JLT said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

Laminated signs bearing missing peoples' phone numbers are tied to the fence next to notices from happier times advertising the Summer Fete with its barbecue, children's games and giant slide. Many other people thought to have been inside the building when the fire began remain unaccounted for. "Not least because they knew there were people still in there and they were battling through the heat and couldn't get there".

Specialist dogs are to be sent in to search for evidence and identification of people still inside.

The fire consumed the building from the second floor up, according to the London Fire Brigade.

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One focus for the investigation will be the building's cladding, which TV architect George Clarke said may have accelerated the blaze.

Relatives also told Italian media that the couple had assured their family in Italy in phone calls that they would be rescued, since suffocating smoke made it impossible to go down the stairs.

"It was fully on fire". Most of the people I could see were Muslim.

Emergency services said it was too early to say what had caused the disaster.

Nadia Yousuf, 29, also said that Muslim residents were among the first to alert neighbours to the blaze as they woke up to prepare to break their fast.

"The changes to the existing tower will improve its appearance especially when viewed from the surrounding area".

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"We are aware that concerns have been raised historically by residents". Hospital officials say 20 are in intensive care.

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