The number of people confirmed dead after the Grenfell Tower fire in west London has risen to 17, Met Police Commander Stuart Cundy has said. Earlier, London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said there were still “unknown numbers of people” inside the block.

Many people from the 120 flats remain missing, with relatives and friends desperately appealing for information. In another update on Thursday morning, NHS England said 37 people were still being treated in hospital, 17 of them in a critical condition. Firefighters are working their way through the smouldering remains of the building’s 24 floors.

Ms Cotton said that because of the “severity of the fire”, it would take a “long time” to search the tower “to properly identify anyone who is left in the building”. “Tragically,” she added, “we are not expecting to find anyone else alive. The severity and the heat of the fire will mean that it would be an absolute miracle for anyone to be left alive.”

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