In this photo released by the Metropolitan Police on Sunday, June 18, 2017, a firefighter stands outside of the Grenfell Tower after fire engulfed the 24-storey building, in London. Experts believe the exterior cladding, which contained insulation, helped spread the flames quickly up the outside of the public housing tower early Wednesday morning. Some said they had never seen a building fire advance so quickly. The 24-story tower that once housed up to 600 people in 120 apartments is now a charred ruin. (Metropolitan Police via AP)
LONDON (AP) — London police say that the number of dead or missing in the high-rise apartment building fire is now 79.
Police Commander Stuart Cundy gave the new figure during a statement outside Scotland Yard on Monday. The previous figure given was 58.
Cundy says the new number may change as investigation continues. He said that the search and recovery operation in the 24-story Grenfell Tower continues, and it has been incredibly distressing for families.
He said that "it's hard to describe the devastation the fire has caused." Cundy added that authorities are investigating whether any crimes had been committed in the fire.
Two British officials said Sunday that new exterior cladding used in a renovation of Grenfell Tower may have been banned under U.K. building regulations.Associated Press