At least 17 people have been confirmed dead in the Grenfell Tower fire, although the death toll is still expected to rise, emergency services have said.
Specialist urban search and rescue teams are being brought in to make the 24-storey tower block safe in north Kensington to allow firefighters and the police to carry out investigations, following the devastating blaze that started in the early hours of Wednesday.
Search dogs will also be used to help locate the missing in the wreckage.
Commander of the Metropolitan Police, Stuart Cundy said:
“Sadly I can confirm that the number of people who have died is now 17.
“We do believe that that number will sadly increase.”
Detective Chief Inspector Matt Bonner has been appointed to lead the investigation, he added.
“Obviously this will be a very slow and painstaking process.”
Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to visit the scene of the tragedy later today to speak with emergency services and ensure that they have the resources they need to deal with the situation.
Grenfell Tower, which built in 1974, was recently refurbished at a cost of £8.6 million, with work completed in May last year.
Kensington and Chelsea Council admitted it had received complaints over the works, after a residents’ action group said its warnings about safety had fallen on “deaf ears”.
More Updates to come