Grief has since given way to anger as protests were held in London on Friday by residents demanding more support for those affected by the fire. Attention has focused on materials used during the renovation process completed previous year.
"We've worked tirelessly to establish how many people we believe were in Grenfell Tower on the night and at this point in time we are unable to say that they are safe or well", he said.
As of 1:30pm today those teams have re-entered the building and are now continuing with the recovery operation, which will take many weeks to come.
Fire broke out in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower, a social housing block in Kensington, west London, in the early hours of Wednesday, trapping residents inside as it tore through the building with terrifying speed.
"We're all desperately sad", said Green, who was appointed May's deputy in the wake of the general election. "And therefore, sadly, I have to assume that they are dead", he said. He asked anyone who was in the tower and survived to contact police immediately.
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He said: "The investigation is a police investigation". Cundy said emergency workers have now reached the top of the building.
Prime Minister Theresa May, already facing severe political problems trying to form a government after losing her majority in Parliament, was heckled when she visited the site on Thursday and criticized for taking too long to meet with survivors, the AP reported.
He is hopeful the two-and-a-half hour meeting, attended by victims, residents, community leaders and volunteers, was the starting point for a process of "lasting change".
She has promised to set up a public inquiry and pledged £5 million (NZ$8.8 million) of support, housing guarantees and help with access to bank accounts and cash.
"We will go where the evidence may take us", and do everything possible "to ensure that those responsible will be brought to justice", he said.
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The identification of the victims is proving very hard - which experts attribute to the extreme heat of the fire.
People cast shadows as they read a message board placed near Grenfell Tower in London, Saturday, June 17, 2017. The rest are missing presumed dead, Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said on Monday.
But police have warned it is still expect to rise, and some victims may never be formally identified due to the condition of the remains. They say they will also use visual elements like tattoos, scars and medical implants in the painstaking process.
Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II struck a mournful tone in an address to mark her official birthday Saturday, remarking not only on the blaze at the high-rise building but also on the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London.
There is simmering anger in the multi-ethnic north Kensington area hit by the blaze, and public fury has been directed at senior government figures, including May, who was jeered Friday after she visited the fire community.
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She said earlier that the national mood is somber but that Britain is resolute in the face of adversity.