Grenfell Tower fire: Final death toll may not be known until next year, police say

The final death toll from the tragic Grenfell Tower fire may not be known until at least the end of the year, police have said.

The number of people believed to have been killed in the blaze is now 80, the vast majority of whom lived in just 23 flats.

Metropolitan Police Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack said contact had been made with at least one person from 106 of the 129 flats in the building.

From those flats, 18 people are dead or assumed dead, while the remaining victims were thought to have been in the flats which had not been heard from.

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Ms McCormack confirmed more than 60 organisations involved in the tower’s refurbishment, which is suspected of aiding the spread of the blaze.

She said a list of tenants provided to police by the Kensington and Chelsea Tenants Management Organisation, which managed the building, was “not accurate”.

She said: “We are many months from being able to provide a number which we believe accurately represents the total loss of life inside Grenfell Tower.

“Only after we have completed a search and recovery operation, which will take until the end of the year.

“What I can say is that we believe that around 80 people are either dead or sadly missing and I must presume that they are dead.”

Efforts to establish who was missing in the wake of the fire were focused on talking to friends, families and neighbours of those in Grenfell Tower, Ms McCormack said.

She said: “On the first day of our work we were provided with a list by the tenant management organisation of who they had recorded living at Grenfell Tower.

“We quickly identified by the end of the first day that this list was not accurate.”

She added: “What we know is that it would be impossible for anyone to produce a list to show exactly who was at Grenfell Tower that night, that includes the people who were living there or who were visiting.”

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