Grenfell Tower fire: Seventy-nine people feared dead Top News

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Grenfell Tower fire: Seventy-nine people feared dead Top News

Inside of Grenfell TowerImage copyright
Metropolitan Police

Image caption

Police have released images of the inside of flats where the occupants have been accounted for

Seventy-nine people are either dead or missing presumed dead after the fire at Grenfell Tower, police have said.

Met Police Commander Stuart Cundy confirmed the figure in a statement on Monday, adding it may still change.

Fire swept through the 24-storey block in North Kensington, west London, shortly before 01:00 BST on 13 June.

Many of the families that were affected lost more than one relative, said Mr Cundy, adding that his “heart went out to them”.

Of those who were injured, 18 people remain in hospital, with nine in critical care.

Mr Cundy said his priority was to identify the people who died in the building and to remove them as quickly as possible.

But he warned that not everyone would be identifiable and the operation would take “many, many weeks”.

“This is an incredibly distressing time for families,” he said. “It is really hard to describe the devastation the fire caused.

“What is important for me is to find answers for those families who have been directly affected.”

Mr Cundy said there may have been people inside the building that they didn’t know were there, but there also could be people who were reported missing and managed to escape.

He urged those people to make themselves known to the authorities.

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Media captionPeople across the UK paused to remember the victims

A minute’s silence was held at 11:00 BST across the UK to remember the victims.

Earlier, police released new images from inside the 24-storey building to show the scale of the challenge they face.

Image copyright
Metropolitan Police

Image caption

This police picture shows an entrance to the tower

The police investigation will be “wide ranging”, according to the Met, looking at the construction of the building, the recent refurbishment, how it was managed and maintained, and fire safety measures.

“I would like to reassure everybody that we will be looking at all criminal offences that might have been committed by any individual or any organisation,” said Mr Cundy.

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

Relief effort

The government has sent in a team of civil servants to to help with the relief effort.

On Sunday, the prime minister also announced a £5m fund to help those families affected.

Each household that has lost their home will receive at least £500 in cash and £5,000 paid into an account.

The fund will also:

  • Help people having to stay in temporary accommodation
  • Help meet funeral costs
  • Cover legal representation for residents involved in the public inquiry
  • An extra £1.5m will also pay for mental health support for the emergency services

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Media captionGrenfell Tower community applauded firefighters as they drove past

A number of figures have faced criticism for their handling of the disaster, including Theresa May – who failed to meet survivors in the immediate aftermath – and Kensington and Chelsea Council.

Council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown said he understood residents’ anger and that the authority itself wanted to know why the fire had started and spread so quickly – but it was too big for one council to handle alone.

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Grenfell Tower fire: Seventy-nine people feared dead Top News

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Grenfell Tower fire: Seventy-nine people feared dead Top News

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