ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com October 20, 2017


London fire: Number of dead and missing rises to 79, police say

19 June 2017, 06:25 | Kelvin Horton

Fire fighters tackling the building – more than 40 engines attended the scene

Fire fighters tackling the building – more than 40 engines attended the scene

A firefighter looks at tributes to presumed victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, after observing a minute's silence at a community center near the apartment building in west London.

"It's hard to describe the devastation the fire has caused", Cundy said, fighting back tears as he spoke.

Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said the number of people confirmed dead, or missing and presumed dead, had risen to 79 and could increase further.

Police had earlier put the toll from Wednesday's inferno at 58 presumed dead.

But five people previously reported missing were found to be "safe and well", Cundy said.

Cundy became visibly upset as he described conditions in the charred Grenfell Tower, where a search and recovery operation is expected to last weeks.

"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".

"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.


She said the terms of reference of a public inquiry into the blaze were being drafted, and the government had now contacted all local authorities in England asking them to identify any safety concerns in light of the tragedy.

Cundy warned that the toll of 79 people could change.

"Equally, there may be people who thankfully may have managed to escape the fire and for whatever reason have not let their family or friends or police know", he said. The investigation will include areas such as the construction, renovation and maintenance of the building and fire safety procedures, he said.

"Until we do that, we can not look at anything other than staying with the same advice".

Of those injured in the fire, 18 people remain in hospitals across London, nine of them in critical care.

While emergency services have been widely praised for their handling of the disaster, the government has been criticized for a slow and inadequate response, with Prime Minister Theresa May facing public anger for failing to meet residents during her first visit to the site.

The remnants of an exercise bike, an oven and washing machine point to the lives of residents in the moments before the blaze.



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