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Principale » London tower block fire toll rises to 17, more feared dead

London tower block fire toll rises to 17, more feared dead

16 Juin 2017

The death toll in the devastating fire that engulfed the 24-storey residential block in London rose to 17 on Thursday, with Prime Minister Theresa May ordering a full public inquiry "to know what happened" as she came under pressure how the blaze spread so rapidly. The tower is owned by the local government in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Fire and rescue crews worked at Grenfell Tower throughout a second night, searching for victims in a building that is still smoldering.

London's fire chief said it's not expected there'll be any more survivors, raising grim questions about the final death toll. Firefighters had rescued 65 people from the building.

Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister Theresa May and other politicians have paid tribute to the firefighters.

"We saw them dying". Specially trained dogs were being brought in to aid the search.

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.

It would be a "miracle" if anyone else were found alive, Cotton said. Police were unsure whether they would even be able to identify everyone.

In her statement May said: "We need to know what happened, we need to have an explanation of this".

Local Senior Officer for Highland SFRS John MacDonald added: "We would remind communities we are here to support them, most notably through our a free Home Fire Safety Visits, where firefighters will provide safety advice and guidance on what to do in the event of an emergency".

London tower block fire toll rises to 17, more feared dead
London tower block fire toll rises to 17, more feared dead

More than 30 people remain in hospital - 17 of whom are in a critical condition.

"I spoke to a lady that lives on the 21st floor". Gloria Trevisan and Marco Gottardi, both 27, lived on the 23rd floor. In the final conversation, Trevisan said: "The flames are in the living room".

"It's great that you're in place", he told them.

A tenants' group had complained for years about the risk of a fire.

Survivors said they saw the flames racing up the exterior of the building, which had recently been covered in cladding during a major refurbishment finished past year.

Many have blamed the fire's fast spread on the exterior cladding used in the building's recent £10 million refurbishment.

"It was horrendous. People up at their windows, screaming and the thing went up, it felt like seconds, it was just going up and up and up", a resident who identified himself as Mikey, told the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Ahmed Chellat said his sister and some friends had escaped the blaze but five of his extended family were still missing: his brother-in-law Aziz el Wahabi, Wahabi's wife Fouzia and their three children aged 20, 15 and 9.

Missing people posters have been put up throughout North Kensington. A handwritten sign reads "breakfast from 0800 (GMT) inside".

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London tower block fire toll rises to 17, more feared dead