A sources revealed that authorities believed that the number of people killed in the Grenfell Tower fire will reach 50, as police announced they have opened a criminal investigation into the blaze.
The probe could result in the prosecution of anyone deemed responsible for building, design or safety failures that caused the blaze.
“We as the police have started an investigation, I mentioned when I was down at the scene this morning that one of our very senior investigating officers is leading that for us,” said Metropolitan Police commander Stuart Cundy.
“We as the police, we investigate criminal offences – I am not sitting here and saying there are criminal offences that have been committed, that’s why you do an investigation, to establish it.
“This will need to be a lot of work between us and other investigating agencies to establish what has happened and why and that is going to take a considerable period of time.”
Mr Cundy added that of the 17 victims confirmed to have died so far, only six had been formally identified. In a sign of how many people police believe did not make it out of the building alive, the commander said he hoped the final death toll “does not reach treble figures”.
The search for victims could take “months”, he said, adding that aside from the six identified bodies, police did not know the other deceased.
Sources, however, revealed to that a figure of approximately 50 fatalities had already been agreed by the heads of emergency services 24-hours ago, but authorities face major political concerns of announcing such a shocking figure in the immediate wake of the disaster.
As shock and mourning turns to anger, the people of West London, and indeed the nation, will wants answers.