London Police have confirmed the death toll has increased from 12 to 17 as firefighters continue the search. It’s been over a day since the fire and authorities believe the death toll could increase. Firefighters continue to search the building, which was destroyed by the fire that quickly surrounded the structure and spread through the floors.
Sky News spoke to Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton and he said they weren’t expecting to find anyone else alive. The death toll was 12 yesterday but it has increased as firefighters continue their search in the building. London Police confirmed on Thursday that a criminal investigation will be launched.
74 people were taken to nearby hospitals with injuries and 17 of them are said to be in critical condition. Some residents have complained that there was no sound of an alarm during the fire. Many residents found out about the fire after smelling the smoke. Reports of the fire started on the fourth floor. Residents living nearby were evacuated during the fire because of falling debris. Firefighters have confirmed that the building is not at risk of collapsing.
The Grenfell Tower, completed in 1974, recently underwent renovations. The cladding material added in that renovation is now being blamed by experts as one of the reasons the fire spread so quickly. The government has ordered safety checks for buildings that have recently been renovated or are currently going through one. Authorities have not speculated on what may have caused the fire but the recent renovation and many other safety questions have raised concerns. Residents had reportedly complained about safety in the past.
600 people were living in the tower before the fire and some are now staying in community centers across the city. Prime Minister Theresa May visited the tower earlier today and spoke to firefighters. London Mayor Sadiq Khan also visited the area and spoke to reporters.
London Police says it could take weeks to know how many people died in the fire. Emergency team officials announced early Thursday that the death toll had increased from 12 to 17.
Charities and residents have continued helping the families affected, raising more than $1.6 million in the last few hours. Food, clothing and other items have been donated at community centers across the city.