Three more Grenfell Tower victims named, as death toll rises to 79

Pauline Gross
June 20, 2017

"I believe there are 79 people that are either dead, or missing, and sadly I have to presume are dead", Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy told reporters.

However, Mr Cundy went on to describe the search operation as "hugely complex" and said: "The very bad reality is, as I've said before, is that due to the intensity of the fire and the devastation within Grenfell Tower, we may not be able to identify everybody that died". The other two confirmed fatalities were Mohammad Alhajali (23) and a woman whose family do not want her name to be released.

He said that five of the dead had been formally identified and it would be a slow and painstaking task to identify the others. "We ask at this time that our family are left to grieve in private".

The announcement came ahead of a minute's silence to be held at 11am across all Government buildings to remember the people who lost their lives and all those affected by the fire in north Kensington last week.

The council has also been attacked over its decision to use cheaper, flammable cladding during its refurbishment of the tower despite it reportedly being illegal for use on high-rise buildings.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, criticized shortly after the blaze for failing to meet with victims, says the public inquiry looking into the tragedy will report directly to her.

Some residents have also accused authorities of concealing the "true" death toll.

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He said that "it's hard to describe the devastation the fire has caused".

Speaking later outside Scotland Yard, he added: "I have investigated major crime for most of my service and I have seen some awful things".

"But we will do it with our utmost professionalism and we will do everything we can as quickly as we can to locate everybody who is in there".

'These victims have already been through enough, it makes sense that there needs to be some proof of who they are but these people have had to wait days.

Cundy said a criminal investigation into the tower blaze would be exhaustive and that 250 investigators were looking at all criminal offences that may have been committed.

The government pledged on Friday (16 June) to give at least £5,500 to every household whose home had been destroyed by the fire, with one cash payment of £500 and the rest delivered through bank accounts or similar in a single payment.

Other reports by GizPress

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