Grenfell Tower fire: Police say 58 people are missing and presumed dead


Fifty-eight people are “missing and presumed dead” following the fire at Grenfell Tower, police have confirmed.

Commander Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan Police told a press conference the number may change but those believed to have died when the London tower block went up in flames is currently in double figures.

Commander Cundy said: “Sadly at this time there are 58 people who we had been told were in Grenfell Tower on the night that are missing and therefore sadly I have to assume that they are dead.”

Police had previously confirmed on Friday that at least 30 people, of the 58 the Commander was speaking about, had died in the fire.

Immediately after the police’s update on the number of believed dead, residents reacted angrily and demanded that officials “give people the truth” after suggesting the number of victims could be much higher.

Boxer Amir Khan, who was in west London speaking to Grenfell residents on Saturday, also made calls on behalf of those affected by the fire for “the real numbers” of victims to be released.

He said: “We want answers, the people want answers.”

Commander Cundy indicated in his statement that the number of victims could rise in coming days, saying: “That number 58 may change, I really hope it won’t but it may increase.

“Our focus has been on those that we know were in there that we’ve been told were in Grenfell Tower, however there may be other people who were in there on the night that others were not aware were there.”

He also formally confirmed named the first fire victims as Mohammed al-Haj Ali, a 23-year-old tower resident.

Describing the fire as ‘truly horrific’ Commander Cundy also pledged that he “will do whatever I can to find the answers to what happened here”.

He said: “I understand – I really do understand – the frustration of so many about not knowing the scale of the tragedy that is unfolding behind us.

“I have said it before, you have my absolute assurance that as soon as I can possibly tell you something that I know to be accurate, I will tell you.”

Police have warned the identification of victims could be long and complicated, with Commander Cundy indicating that “sadly, our work will be ongoing for many, many weeks” as “the work to search the building is challenging”.

According to the Met internationally recognised standards of identification – known as the INTERPOL Disaster Victim Identification Standards – are being used to identify “beyond doubt” the deceased.

As part of the process victims will be identified where possible, by at least one of the primary identification methods of dental comparison, fingerprints or DNA.

Other, secondary, identification features which can be taken into consideration include tattoos, scars, and supporting information such as jewellery, clothing or property.



Source : http://www.itv.com/news/2017-06-17/grenfell-tower-fire-police-confirm-58-people-are-missing-and-presumed-dead/

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