The death toll in the blaze at a residential tower block in London rose to 17, authorities said, with the fire extinguished Thursday.

The Metropolitan Police Service said the figure may rise and that 37 people are still in hospital, including 17 receiving critical care. The police also said the blaze was not linked to terrorism.

The London Fire Brigade continued searching in Grenfell Tower in Kensington. More than 200 people are believed to have resided in the 24-story council tower block.



"Firefighters worked with the gas authority to isolate a ruptured gas main in the block and once this work was completed they were able to extinguish the fire," the LFB said, adding that the fire was under control by 1:14 a.m.

Fire crews said they have rescued 65 people from the building. The cause of the fire is still unknown, according to fire officials. The search operation is expected to take several weeks as parts of the building are unsafe.

Queen Elizabeth issued a statement, expressing her condolences to the victims and their families and paying tribute to the bravery of firefighters and other emergency services officers.



"My thoughts and prayers are with those families who have lost loved ones in the Grenfell Tower fire and the many people who are still critically ill in hospital," the statement read.

The police set up an emergency number for inquiries about the safety of relatives and friends, and a number of the building's residents were being sheltered at local churches and community facilities.