Police consider manslaughter charges over Grenfell Tower fire

"Such is that devastation down at the scene, this may take at least until the end of the year", Detective Superintendent McCormack said, adding, "There is the awful reality that we may not find or identify all those that died during the fire".

Metropolitan Police Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack said a faulty fridge started the inferno which has killed at least 79 people.

United Kingdom police said the blaze began inside a faulty fridge.

"In terms of seizing relevant material from a number of organisations, I can confirm that that is also underway", she said.

Police were also investigating companies involved in the building and refurbishment of the tower, and possible "health and safety and fire safety offences", she said.

She said: "Although we have concerns that the fire-retardant cladding used may not adhere to recognised government guidance on compliance with the building regulations for use in high-rise buildings, an independent fire expert has assured us that these hotels are safe and that they are entirely satisfied that there are robust fire safety measures and evacuation procedures in place to protect our guests and team members".

The government said at least 11 buildings across eight local authority areas in England were found to have flammable cladding.

Towers in Camden, Manchester, Hounslow and Plymouth are among the at-risk buildings, the Department for Communities and Local Government confirmed. "Further tests are ongoing onto that fridge".

An amnesty for people who may have been living in the tower illegally has been suggested, supported by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

"What we haven't got is a picture of how many people might have been in there".

"Our priority is to understand who was in Grenfell Tower".

Three towers in Barnet, north-east London, were found to have similar rain screen panels on their cladding as Grenfell Tower, but a non-combustible insulation material.

Describing how the investigation was proceeding, she added: "We have been in Grenfell Tower, from top to bottom, last week".

"Our forensic search may not be complete until the end of the year", she added.

Officials say that particular product had never been recalled before.

Whirlpool said in a statement that 64,000 Hotpoint units carrying the model numbers FF175BP and FF175BG had been manufactured between March 2006 and July 2009.

The Guardian quotes a spokesman from the company as having said: "Words can not express our sorrow at this awful tragedy".

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all those involved, including the emergency services who risked their lives to extinguish the blaze and rescue those in the building".

McCormack confirmed that a fridge-freezer started the fire at Grenfell Tower, and that it was not deliberate.

  • Rogelio Becker