Dead, missing toll in London fire rises to 79, police say

LONDON'S Metropolitan Police confirmed Friday that at least 30 people died in this week's fire which swept through a residential tower block in west London.

Khan said images of the 1970's building being ravaged by fire "should be forever seared into our nation's collective memory".

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

'If that is you or if you know of someone who escaped and we haven't been informed, I don't care what that reason is, but I urge you to get in touch'.

The fire has prompted warnings about fire safety risks in many other council tower blocks built in the same era.

Scotland Yard has said the rescue operation by emergency services on the site will take weeks and the death toll is also expected to rise further, though not all victims may be identified due to the nature of the burns.

"Remember those who've lost their lives in a preventable accident that didn't need to happen and the tragedy we're seeing is because of the outcome of mistakes and neglect from politicians, from the council and from the government", Khan added.

It is really hard to describe the devastation the fire caused.


"When the truth comes out about this tragedy, we may find that there is blood on the hands of a number of organisations", he said. He has not provided details about the inquiry. They say their complaints were ignored.

Firefighters, police, politicians and members of the public gathered beneath the shadow of the tower to observe the minute's silence.

In addition, British health authorities will provide long-term bereavement counseling for those who lost loved ones in the tragedy.

Five victims have been formally identified, including 23-year-old Mohammed Alhajali and a woman whose family do not want her name to be released.

On the lack of sprinklers in Grenfell Tower, and other buildings, he said: "My understanding is that the best expert advice is that retrofitting sprinklers may not always be the best technical way of ensuring fire safety in a building".

His family said in a statement that Alhajali "came to the United Kingdom because he had ambitions and aims for his life and for his family".

"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", Cmdr.

Officials are using dental records, fingerprints and DNA samples to try and positively identify victims.

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