Police commander says London apartment block search may take months, hopes death toll not in 'triple figures'

LONDON (Reuters) - Searching a London tower block gutted in a huge fire on Wednesday might take months, a police chief said on Thursday, adding he hoped the death toll would not rise from 17 to “triple figures”.

Commander Stuart Cundy told reporters some victims of the blaze which destroyed the 24-floor Grenfell Tower might never be identified.

Police have said 17 people were killed in the blaze and that the death toll was likely to rise. Asked if the final figure would be double or triple digits, Cundy said: “I’d like to hope that it isn’t going to be triple figures.”

Reporting by Costas Pita, writing by Michael Holden; editing by Elizabeth Piper