Death toll could still rise further
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.”
The scene of devastation inside one of the Grenfell Tower flats