The toll in the London fire incident that had destroyed a 24-storey block apartment in north Kensington rose to 17 on Thursday, BBC reported. Fire Commissioner Danny Cotton said there are still “unknown numbers” of bodies in Grenfell Tower and they are not expecting to find any more survivors.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered a full public inquiry into the matter. May said people “deserve answers”, BBC reported.
Cotton said the search operation would be a “very long process”. At a media briefing, the Fire Commissioner said parts of the building needed structural support to allow a search, adding that dogs would be used in the first instance.
Firefighters are still looking for people through the charred high-rise. “Tragically, now we are not expecting to find anyone else alive. The severity and the heat of the fire would mean it is an absolute miracle for anyone to be left alive,” Cotton told Sky News.
Flames could still be seen inside the building more than a day after the disaster. However, the cause of the fire still remains unknown.
The Queen said her thoughts and prayers were with the families. She also thanked the firefighters for their undying effort to save others, reported Reuters. “It is also heartening to see the incredible generosity of community volunteers rallying to help those affected by this terrible event,” the queen said.
More than 30 people were still reported to be in the hospital, 17 of whom were in critical condition. Firefighters had rescued 65 people from the building.
Earlier on Thursday, Fire Commissioner Cotton had said her crew had reached the top floor of the building and conducted visual searches. “We’ve got structural surveyors and my urban search and rescue team who are going to come down, make an assessment and find a way of making the building safe so that we can go through the whole building, fingertip search, painstakingly, looking to see what’s in there,” she added.