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Grenfell Tower fire dead rises to 79

19 June 2017 National News


The number of people killed in the Grenfell Tower disaster has risen to 79 – but that figure could still change, police say.

Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said five people had been formally identified – but warned that some victims may never be identified.

“The awful reality is, 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,” he said.

“We have been from the top to the bottom of Grenfell Tower.

“The search operation will be painstaking and having been in there myself it’s really hard to describe the devastation that the fire has caused.”

Video: Damage inside Grenfell Tower revealed

footage showing the “indescribable” damage to the tower caused by the fire, which ripped through the building last week.

A minute’s silence was observed at 11am in tribute to the victims of the fire.

Mr Cundy said the death toll could still change, but not as significantly as it has in recent days.

“I believe there may be people who were in Grenfell Tower that people may not know are missing and may not have realised they were in there on the night,” he said.

“Equally, there may be people who thankfully managed to escape the fire and for whatever reason have not let their family and friends know that they are safe.”

Residents observe a minute's silence near Grenfell Tower

Image: Residents observe a minute’s silence near Grenfell Tower

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Mr Cundy said some families have lost more than one family member in the disaster.

“Sadly, for many families, they have lost more than one family member and my heart truly goes out to them. This is an incredibly distressing time for all of them,” he said.

“One of my absolutely priorities I’d people as quick as we can to recover them from Grenfell Tower.”

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