January 16, 2018
Latest News

More than 79 feared dead in London fire, with number expected to rise

London, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- London police upgraded on Monday the tally of those believed to have died in an apartment block inferno to 79, although only five had so far been formally identified.

Commander Stuart Cundy said the number could change as investigators were still not certain who was in Grenfell Tower, in west London, when an intense fire consumed the building.

"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.

He said the 79 were missing, presumed dead, but it was very likely that due to the intensity of the conflagration many victims would never be formally identified.

The fire began early Wednesday and spread rapidly through the 24-story block that housed hundreds of people, including young families.

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

London police and the firefighting service have been working tirelessly to stabilize parts of the structure in order to allow emergency services to continue the search for victims.

Residents had many times raised the alarm that the building was not safe and was liable to be heavily affected by a fire, however, local authorities did not act on the complaints.

The building was last year fitted with insulating cladding, but the material used is now believed to have been highly flammable and could have exacerbated the fire, helping it spread alarmingly fast throughout the building.

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