Grenfell Tower blaze death toll rises to 79

The death toll from the Grenfell Tower fire has risen to 79, police said.

Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said five people had been formally identified and the rest were “sadly” missing presumed dead.

He told reporters the “awful reality” was that it might not be possible to identify all the victims.

Some families have lost more than one member, he added.

The announcement came ahead of a minute’s silence to be held at 11am across all Government buildings to remember the people who lost their lives and all those affected by the fire in north Kensington last week.

Footage from inside the gutted 24-storey building has been released, showing the extent of the damage caused by the blaze.

Commander Cundy said the conditions in the tower “verge on indescribable”, and warned of the potential “terrible reality” that some people may never be identified.

A minute’s silence will be held at 11am across all Government buildings to remember the people who lost their lives and all those affected by the fire.

A burnt-out flat inside Grenfell Tower (Metropolitan Police/PA)
A burnt-out flat inside Grenfell Tower (Metropolitan Police/PA)

As anger continued in the wake of the disaster, described by London Mayor Sadiq Khan as a “preventable accident”, the Government announced those left homeless will be given at least £5,500 from an emergency fund.

Mr Cundy said the death toll may still change, but not as significantly as it has in recent days. He fought back tears as he told reporters about the scene inside the 24-storey tower in north Kensington.

Footage from inside the gutted building has been released, showing the extent of the damage caused by the blaze.

People walk past floral tributes outside Notting Hill Methodist Church (Jonathan Brady/PA)
People walk past floral tributes outside Notting Hill Methodist Church (Jonathan Brady/PA)

He said it had been “incredibly emotional working in there”, adding: “On Saturday I went in myself and went to the top floor. And it is incredibly hard to describe the devastation in some parts of that building.”

Five people who had been reported missing after the disaster have been found safe and well, he added.

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