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London firefighters traumatised by 'horrendous' scenes, chief says

16 Juin 2017

At least 17 people died in the Grenfell Tower blaze on Wednesday, although emergency services have said the death toll is expected to rise further.

"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 said.

Earlier, the scale of the investigation facing emergency services was set out by London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton.

"Our specialist urban search and rescue (USAR) crews are now working to make the block safe so our firefighters can continue to progress throughout the building, making a detailed, fingertip search, for anyone who may still be inside". Now that the heavy black smoke has cleared, the public could only gape at the huge burned-out hulk in west London's working-class, multi-ethnic North Kensington neighborhood.

A mum and her young son are feared dead after reportedly being told to stay inside their Grenfell Tower flat as fire engulfed the building.

As many as 600 people may have been inside the building's 120 apartments when the blaze started and apparently raced from a lower floor to the top of the tower.

Asked if the death toll could climb to triple figures, he said: "From a personal perspective, I really hope it isn't".

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Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy says senior officers are leading the investigation into the fire that devastated the 24-story Grenfell Tower public housing block.

Mrs May met police and firefighters dealing with the aftermath of the disaster during a private visit to the west London site, but - unlike Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan - she was not seen to speak to families and residents.

"She was with a group of people in the fire escape, in the fire stairs, they live on the 20th floor", said Ms Ruiz.

The cause of the blaze, the worst in the British capital in a generation, was being investigated, although Mr Cundy said nothing suggested the fire was linked to terrorism. "It had completely spread within half an hour". A local community organization called the Grenfell Action Group said on its website Wednesday that its warnings had been ignored for years. Others no doubt will have lost family members, friends and colleagues.

Signs bearing a missing persons' hotline number were tied to a fence.

Community centres in London have been overwhelmed by the number of donations flooding in for those left homeless.

More than 1 million pounds have been raised to help those affected by the massive blaze which ripped through the building. "Luckily we didn't believe [the phone operator] and got out quickly", Waewta said, noting that it took a while for rescuers to reach them. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has offered free food for survivors at one of his nearby eateries.

London firefighters traumatised by 'horrendous' scenes, chief says