“We know that at least 30 people have died as a result of this fire... I do believe the number will increase,” police commander Stuart Cundy told reporters in front of the charred Grenfell Tower.
Cundy said police had started a criminal investigation but there was nothing to suggest “that the fire had been started deliberately”.
He also said the last flames had finally been put out, two days after the fire broke out in the night between Tuesday and Wednesday in the 24-storey tower in a working-class enclave of the wealthy London borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
More than 70 people are unaccounted for, according to media reports, although it was not known whether some of those were among the bodies recovered so far.
Police have warned some of the victims may never be identified because of the state of the remains.
Cundy said one of the victims was a person who died in hospital. Twenty-four injured survivors are still being treated, 12 of them in critical care.
Firefighters were using drones and sniffer dogs to search the building, saying that some of the upper floors are still inaccessible to humans because of concerns about the stability of the structure.
Queen visits survivors
The area surrounding the council-owned tower has been plastered by desperate relatives with pictures of the missing, from grandparents to young children, and large numbers of volunteers were assisting survivors.
Queen Elizabeth II and her grandson Prince William visited a community centre where some of the survivors are being housed, as anger grows among local residents about allegations that fire safety concerns were ignored for years.
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