Death toll could still rise fur­ther

Harefield Gazette - - News -

THE Metropoli­tan Po­lice has said it has lo­cated five peo­ple who were feared dead fol­low­ing the Gren­fell Tower fire who are in fact “safe and well”.

It has been con­firmed that 79 peo­ple died or are miss­ing and pre­sumed dead, af­ter the fire in North Kens­ing­ton on June 14, although po­lice have said they be­lieve the fig­ure could yet rise fur­ther.

Speak­ing on Tues­day morn­ing Com­man­der Stuart Cundy, of the Metropoli­tan Po­lice, said: “Over the course of the last 48 hours there’s been a huge amount of ef­fort un­der­taken by our in­ves­ti­ga­tors to un­der­stand as com­pletely as we pos­si­bly can just how many peo­ple this is di­rectly af­fect­ing and how many peo­ple are miss­ing who were in Gren­fell Tower that night. As I’ve said be­fore, I have to pre­sume if peo­ple are miss­ing that they are dead.

“This is a hugely complex sit­u­a­tion and as I have said from the very start I must be as ac­cu­rate as pos­si­ble when I up­date you, and I want to do that as soon as I can.

“I can­not imag­ine the dis­tress and suf­fer­ing that not know­ing what has hap­pened to your loved one is caus­ing and I com­pletely un­der­stand the de­sire for an­swers that fam­i­lies, those for whom Gren­fell Tower was home and the lo­cal com­mu­nity have.

“Sadly, what I can say now is that as a re­sult of all our ef­forts we be­lieve - as of 08:00hrs this morn­ing - that 79 peo­ple are ei­ther dead or miss­ing and sadly we must pre­sume them dead fol­low­ing the fire at Gren­fell Tower.

“Of those 79 - five have peo­ple have been for­mally iden­ti­fied.”

They po­lice have how­ever been able to con­firm that five peo­ple thought to have been miss­ing since the fire have now been found safe and well. Com­man­der Cundy urged any­one else in a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion to come for­ward.

He said: “As our un­der­stand­ing of the tragedy be­comes clear, there may be peo­ple who were in Gren­fell Tower on the night who peo­ple, such as fam­i­lies and oth­ers, did not know were in there on the night and they have died.

“Equally there may be peo­ple who were in there that we be­lieve are miss­ing that did es­cape but for what­ever rea­son have not let it be known that they’re safe and well, so again I would ap­peal to them di­rectly.

“I don’t care about the rea­sons why you haven’t told us you are safe, please con­tact the Ca­su­alty Bu­reau or con­tact your fam­ily, your friends and tell them you’re safe and well.

“There are also those who we have been told have con­nec­tions to Gren­fell Tower who may have been there that night and we were do­ing our ut­most over the week­end, and we con­tinue to­day, to lo­cate them to make sure that they are safe and well. That’s less about peo­ple we know were there on the night and is about peo­ple who have friends in Gren­fell Tower who we may have re­ceived a call about, but we don’t know for cer­tain that they were there on the night. Sig­nif­i­cant ef­forts are now be­ing made to trace all those peo­ple to en­sure we know that they are safe and well.

“What is im­por­tant to my­self, and all of us, is to find ev­ery­one who is in­side the build­ing and re­turn them to their loved ones. Thank­fully, due to all the work we have been do­ing over the last few days, we have lo­cated five peo­ple who we feared dead and are in fact safe and well.”

PHOTO: LONDON METROPOLI­TAN PO­LICE SER­VICE

The scene of devastation in­side one of the Gren­fell Tower flats

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