Police say 79 people presumed dead after London apartment block fire
CHRIS J RATCLIFFE (AFP)
Seventy-nine people are dead or missing and presumed dead following a devastating blaze in a council-owned London tower block last week, police said on Monday, updating an earlier toll of 58 presumed dead. Five people who had been reported missing have been found safe and well.
"As of this morning, I'm afraid to say there are now 79 people that we believe are either dead or missing and I sadly have to presume are dead," police commander Stuart Cundy told reporters. He said that one reason that identification of the victims was taking so long was that dental records were required from around the world.
The area surrounding the tower has been plastered by distraught relatives with pictures of the missing, from grandparents to young children.
Grenfell Tower was home to around 600 people and whole families remain missing after the fire, which forced residents to flee through black smoke down the single stairwell, jump out of windows or even drop their children to safety as flames tore through the building in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Furious residents heckled Prime Minister Theresa May and stormed the local authority headquarters on Friday, demanding justice for the victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
There were angry scenes at the offices of the Kensington and Chelsea council, which was responsible for managing the 1970s social housing block in a working-class enclave of one of Britain's richest areas.
"It was a death trap and they knew it," one person shouted as demonstrators stormed inside the offices.
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