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Grenfell Tower blaze death toll rises to 30 - arson not suspected, says Met chief

 

At least 30 people have died in the Grenfell Tower fire, London police have revealed.

Metropolitan Police commander Stuart Cundy confirmed the death toll as he spoke near the scene of the devastating blaze in west London on Friday.

"I'm able to say at this point in time at least 30 people have died as a result of this fire," he said.

Mr Cundy said the victims included one person who had died in hospital.

"There is nothing to suggest at this time that the fire was started deliberately," he added.

The streets around the high rise block in north Kensington were plastered with posters begging for information about those who were in the building.

More appeals were put up overnight on Thursday as relatives became increasingly distraught about their loved ones.

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A poster with a picture of Mariem Elgwahry who has not been seen since the blaze (PA)

Dozens of residents have not been seen since the tragedy, many of them young families and children.

One appeal read: “Since a deadly fire broke out in their home in Latimer, no one has heard from 16 year old Nurhuda El-Wahabi, 21 year old Yasin El-Wahabi and their family. They live on the 21st floor. Please spread this round and keep a look out for their family.”

Another asked for information about “Amal and daughter” with a photo of a young woman with curly dark hair and a little girl.

A whole family were reported missing on one poster, which said: “The Choucair family is missing in the Grenfell Tower fire. They lived on the 22nd floor, in flat 193.”

The family was named as mother Nadia Choucair and daughters Mierna, 13, Fatima, 11, and Zeinab, three.

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A woman touches a missing poster for 12-year-old Jessica Urbano on a tribute wall after laying flowers on the side of Latymer Community Church (Matt Dunham/AP)

Ana Ospina posted an image of Jessica Urbano, 12, said to be about 5ft tall, on Facebook, saying: “Please continue to share the photo of my niece who has not yet found her. I know there are people who say they already found her, but the reality is that there has been no news of her.”

“Fathia Alsanonse MISSING. People still can’t get through to her. Please keep an eye out,” another said, next to a picture of a smiling woman.

One simply said: “Missing: Marjorie Vital” with a picture of a woman in a white hat.

There are fears that the death toll could dramatically rise as firefighters continue to search the building. Smoke could be seen billowing from the charred remains on Thursday and pockets of flames were still burning on Friday morning.

It came as a number of residents spent a second night in Westway Sports Centre.

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Tennis courts at the Westway Sports Centre overflowing with donated provisions (Jack Hardy/PA)

Megan Hession, of Kensington and Chelsea Council, said: “We had less than 10 who overnighted here.

“Everybody has been rehomed except people choosing to stay here – one large family are all together in one place and are comfortable here. Everybody has been put into hotels, B&Bs or in flats. By the weekend everyone will be rehomed in new flats.”

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