London tower block fire death toll increases to 12 with final total expected to rise

A deserted A40 Westway near to the 24-storey Grenfell Tower.
A deserted A40 Westway near to the 24-storey Grenfell Tower.

Twelve people have died and more are feared dead after the huge fire which destroyed a tower block in west London.

Flames tore through the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in north Kensington overnight, leaving people trapped on upper floors - some holding babies out of windows and others jumping from their

flats.

Some bodies have been removed from the smouldering remains of the building, which contains 120 flats thought to be home to between 400 and 600 people.

Commander Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan Police said: "Sadly I can confirm that there are now 12 people that have died that we know of.

"This is going to be a long and complex recovery operation and I do anticipate that the number of fatalities will sadly increase beyond those 12."

Fire crews are continuing to tackle "pockets of fire" in the building with many people still unaccounted for.

Steve Apter, director of safety and assurance at London Fire Brigade, said: "I can confirm I have had firefighters manage to get through particularly arduous conditions up to the top floor."

London Fire Brigade said it had rescued 65 people from the building.

Mr Cundy added: "Whilst we may have accessed every floor that is not the same as a full search of the whole building, and as I said while we currently sadly have 12 fatalities, I do

believe that figure will rise and sadly I don't anticipate that there will be further survivors."

NHS England said 74 patients were treated in six hospitals across London. Thirty four patients remain in hospital including 18 who are in critical care.