The Metropolitan Police have revealed that the number of fatalities in the Grenfell disaster is estimated at eighty, and is likely to stay at this number for the foreseeable future. The number of survivors of the tragedy is estimated at 255.
In the press conference on Monday 10th July, police said the coroner had formally identified thirty-two bodies.
Phase One of the recovery operation, removing identifiable remains, has now been completed. The full search and recovery operation is projected to continue until the end of 2017.
In a separate statement, Scotland Yard provided more insight into the process of accounting for Grenfell residents in the aftermath of the tragedy.
“On Monday (3rd July), we forensically recovered the last of the visible human remains from Grenfell Tower and transferred them to Westminster Mortuary. In total we have made 87 recoveries, but I must stress that the catastrophic damage inside Grenfell Tower means that is not 87 people. Until formal identification has been completed to the Coroner’s satisfaction I cannot say how many people have now been recovered”, said Commander Stuart Cundy, who is overseeing the Met’s response to the fire at Grenfell Tower.
“Work in Grenfell Tower continues, seven days a week. Specialist officers, supported by expert anthropologists, have started a search by hand of the devastation left behind by the fire. This will involve us meticulously going through about 15.5 tonnes of debris on each floor to find those human remains that are still within the debris inside Grenfell Tower”, he continued.
“We will use all the information we have, especially what we have been told by survivors and families, to prioritise our search where we believe we may find more human remains. This will take us many months, but we will search each and every flat.”
“We are absolutely determined to do all we can as quickly as we can to return all those who are in Grenfell Tower to their loved ones. However, as I’ve said before such is the devastation caused by the fire it may be that tragically we cannot find or identify all those who lost their lives.”
Police are still working with survivors from the flats to built a complete picture of who was in the building on the night of the fire. Metropolitan Police have so far spoken with families from 108 of the 129 flats within Grenfell Tower.
“I do not want there to be any hidden victims of this tragedy”, said Commander Cundy, stressing that any residents who may have been subletting illegally, or who may have immigration status concerns, would not face legal repercussions.
The Metropolitan Police continue with their investigation, one of the largest and most complex in the Met’s history, into how and why the fire started. Detectives are appealing to those people who lived in Grenfell Tower and may have images of the building’s fire safety features from before the fire to provide them to police.
Meanwhile, the Government has re-stated its confidence in Sir Martin Moore-Bick as head of the public inquiry into the Grenfell blaze.
The first public hearings are expected to be held in September.
If you have any information from the night of the blaze, or concerning those missing, call the Met Police incident room free phone number on 0800 032 4539, email Grenfell.firstname.lastname@example.org or upload any material via www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk