Adele Pays Emotional Visit to London's Grenfell Tower After Deadly Apartment Fire

Toby Melville  Reuters
Firefighters rest near the Grenfell Tower blaze

Firefighters worked through the night to dampen the massive blaze that engulfed a 24-storey residential tower block in west London killing at least 12 people with claims emerging that warnings about safety had been ignored.

Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said: "It may be - and I just don't know - it may be that ultimately some victims remain unidentified".

"We've got structural surveyors and my urban search and rescue team who are going to come down, make an assessment and find a way of making the building safe so that we can go through the whole building, fingertip search, painstakingly, looking to see what's in there", she said.

Seventeen people were still in a critical condition in hospital on Thursday and dozens believed to have been in the building when the fire broke out are still missing or unaccounted for.

Crews rescued 65 people, said Steve Apter, the fire brigade's director of safety and assurance.

"My thoughts are with the victims, their families and all of those who had their homes destroyed", she said.

Firefighters trying to race into the building were protected from falling debris by police officers, who placed riot shields over their heads.

She visited the scene earlier yesterday, as did opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

An investigation into the cause of the blaze is underway but the shock at its scale turned to anger and recriminations on Thursday. This will be a slow and painstaking process which will require a large amount of shoring up work inside the building, especially on the upper floors, which will be the most challenging for us to access and search.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrives at Grenfield Tower in London, Thursday, June 15, 2017, following a deadly fire in the apartment block.

In a message on Twitter, Harman said: "Theresa May should have met Grenfell Fire residents".

"People were starting to appear at the windows, frantically banging and screaming", she told London's Evening Standard newspaper. "This is a major fire that's affected all floors of the 24-story structure from the second floor upwards".

"Within two-and-a-half hours that building melted in front of my eyes I must have seen over 25 people dying in front of my own eyes". Adi Estu (32) who lives nearby and took refuge in a church with her husband and nine-month-old son, said: "I saw people flashing their lights for help, families flashing their mobile phones like a torch".

He added: "The prime minister would have been shouted at by the residents, but she should have been willing to take that".

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