Friday, 22 February, 2019

London fire death toll rises to 79

British PM May faces mounting criticism over London tower block blaze Firefighters use a hydraulic lift to inspect the Grenfell Tower block that was destroyed by fire in north Kensington West London
Melinda Barton | 28 June, 2017, 03:37

At least 79 people are dead or missing and presumed dead following last week's fire at a high-rise apartment building in west London, police said Monday.

Detectives investigating the fire at Grenfell Tower in London say new footage of the gutted building's burned-out interior shows just how hard the task of finding and identifying bodies is proving to be.

Cundy also said that the number of dead or missing in the fire has now risen to 79, but that number may change as the investigation continues, he said.

Cundy also added that some of the families who were living in the building have lost more than one member, according to The Telegraph.

The Met Police has released images of these "indescribable" conditions, which show the true scale of the blaze that claimed so many lives. Authorities had warned earlier that some of the victims may never be identified because of the state of their remains.

Following the fire, the building's safety precautions have been called into question, with some saying cladding - building material usually attached directly to the frame of a building to act as an outer wall to provide insulation and protection from the elements - caused the fire to spread.

As anger continued in the wake of the disaster, described by London Mayor Sadiq Khan as a "preventable accident", the Government announced those left homeless will be given at least £5,500 from an emergency fund.

Search and recovery crews have been working in the tower since last Wednesday's fire.

"Where offences have been committed, I will do everything in my gift to make sure they are brought to justice", he said.

Today London's fire chief said it could take "days" to reach the bodies of everyone who died in the blaze.

"The terrible reality, as I've said before, is that due to the intensity of the fire and the devastation within Grenfell Tower that we may not be able to identify everybody that died", Cundy told reporters.

While Mrs May praised the emergency and health services for their heroism, she said support on the ground for families in the initial hours after the disaster was "not good enough".

They feel they have been ignored because they are poor, he said.

Police opened a criminal investigation. "We may need to request records from around the world-these may take time to receive".

Hands cautioned Sunday that investigators still don't know exactly what cladding was used when the building renovation was completed past year.

However, five people who were originally reported as missing have since been found safe and well.