London fire: Police confirm 12 dead in Grenfell Tower blaze

Detailed secondary search for victims among the rubble is yet to take place

Tom Batchelor
Wednesday 14 June 2017 18:07 BST
More than 200 firefighters were sent to tackle the blaze
More than 200 firefighters were sent to tackle the blaze (PA)

Police have confirmed at least 12 people died in the Grenfell Tower fire in west London.

Commander Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan Police said that number was likely to rise further still.

Earlier in the day, police confirmed six residents had died after the blaze took hold in the 24-storey block of flats near Latimer Road Tube station.

Officials refused to comment on whether the death toll would rise "significantly" but said there were still bodies inside the building.

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

Mr Cundy 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."

Firefighters are still working to extinguish "pockets of fire" before a full search of the building can be carried out.

Steve Apter, director of safety and assurance at London Fire Brigade (LFB), said at the same news conference that firefighters had managed "to get through particularly arduous conditions up to the top floor".

LFB said it had rescued 65 people from the building.

A number of those who are still missing have been named by family and friends, including a 12-year-old girl said to have been living on the 20th floor.

Other stories have emerged of those inside the tower who narrowly escaped the blaze.

A baby dropped from a window miraculously escaped serious harm, witnesses said, despite falling from the "ninth or tenth floor".

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