London fire death toll could top 100

Authorities say death toll likely to rise significantly, with hundreds of residents from burned-out high-rise still unaccounted for.

David Rosenberg,

Grenfell Tower apartment building goes up in flames in London
Grenfell Tower apartment building goes up in flames in London

The death toll in the fire that ravaged the 24-story Grenfell Tower high-rise in London will likely top 100, with search and rescue officials saying it would be a “miracle” if any more survivors were recovered from the charred remains of the building.

Thus far, 17 fatalities have been confirmed in the disaster, with another 78 still hospitalized, including 17 in critical condition.

Of the roughly 500 people who once lived in the now destroyed tower, hundreds remain unaccounted for, The Telegraph reported Thursday, including entire families.

But London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton said the chances of finding anyone alive in the ruins was virtually nil, saying it would take a “miracle” for anyone to survive inside the building.

"Sadly we do anticipate the death toll will rise - we haven't done our searches of the top floors yet."

Police Commander Stuart Cundy expressed hope – but not confidence - that the death toll would not exceed 100,” The Telegraph reported.

"From a personal perspective, I really hope it isn't, for those of us that have been down there, it's pretty emotional, so I hope it is not triple figures, but I can't be drawn on the numbers."

Officials say it took more than 24 hours to get the fire under control from the time it was first reported early Wednesday morning.

The cause of the fire has yet to be confirmed, though investigators say the blaze may have been sparked by a faulty refrigerator unit.