Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

London tower death toll reaches 79, likely to rise further

London tower death toll reaches 79, likely to rise further

London Police Commander Stuart Cundy said the toll from the Grenfell Tower blaze could still change but probably not as much as it had in recent days.

Rescue efforts have been slow as the building was devastated by flames and many areas were not able to be accessed safely.

The number of people believed to have died from a fire that set ablaze Grenfell Tower in west London last week has risen to 79 and could increase, United Kingdom police say.

He promised an "exhaustive" criminal investigation that would also look at a major refurbishment of the tower completed previous year.

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He said only five people had been formally identified so far by police.

Opposition politicians also say the government ignored recommendations from a 2013 review after another London fire killed six people.

People around the country fell silent at 11am to remember those affected by the devastating fire which engulfed Grenfell Tower last Wednesday.

Having ordered an emergency aid package for the fire survivors and a full public inquiry into the incident, Prime Minister Theresa May held a meeting Saturday with some of the survivors and family members of victims at a government office. "She understood that immediate action needed to be taken to speed things up, and that's what she's done", the spokeswoman said.

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Cundy said earlier on Monday that due to conditions in the tower, which "verge on indescribable", it could takes weeks to locate bodies and there was a likelihood some of those lost would never be properly identified.

Two British officials have said that new exterior cladding used in a renovation of Grenfell Tower may have been banned under United Kingdom building regulations.

He said that authorities were continuing to investigate whether any crimes had been committed in the inferno.

The investigation will include areas such as the construction, renovation and maintenance of the building and fire safety procedures, he said.

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"Over the last 48 hours, our investigators have been working tirelessly working with families to establish just how many we believe are missing from Grenfell Tower", he said.

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