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Death Toll Climbs In London Grenfell Tower Apartment Fire

24 Juin 2017

A criminal investigation into the cause of the fire that began has been opened, and residents at Grenfell Tower had for years complained that the building wasn't fire-safe.

Seventy-nine people are dead or missing and presumed dead following a devastating blaze in a London tower block last week, police said on Monday (June 19), as Britain held a minute's silence for the victims.

Out of 79 victims, five have been formally identified.

Horrific new pictures of the inside of the London's Grenfell Tower have been released by police.

The photos, captured by a specialist police recovery team, show flats where everyone has been accounted for.

"The bad reality, as I've said before, is that due to the intensity of the fire and the devastation within Grenfell Tower that we may not be able to identify everybody that died", Cundy told reporters.

But authorities had already suggested that they might never be able to identify numerous victims due to the intensity of the fire.

Detectives are focusing on people that they have been told were in the building at the time of the fire but have not been seen since.

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"Where offences have been committed, I will do everything in my gift to make sure they are brought to justice", Cundy added.

Experts believe the exterior cladding, which contained insulation, helped spread the flames quickly up the outside of the public housing tower early Wednesday morning.

Members of the emergency services work inside burnt out remains of the Grenfell apartment tower in North Kensington, London, Britain, June 18, 2017.

The government of British Prime Minister Theresa May has said it is working to initiate a public inquiry into the disaster promptly.

On ITV's Peston on Sunday programme, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn renewed his controversial call for empty homes in the area to be taken over by the Government to house victims of the fire.

He pledged to continue with the Met Police's "wide ranging and exhaustive" investigation into whether anyone is criminally responsible for the fire and repeated his appeal for material which may help the inquiry.

Frustration has been mounting in recent days as information about those still missing in the inferno has been scanty and efforts to find temporary housing for the hundreds of now-homeless tower residents have faltered.

Death Toll Climbs In London Grenfell Tower Apartment Fire