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Grenfell families given update by police officers

DISTRESS: A total of 60 people who died in the blaze have now been formally identified

OFFICERS FROM the Grenfell Tower investigation team and the assigned coroner met with the families of those who died or who are missing and sadly presumed dead last week, in private to update them.

The families were updated on the progress of the search and recovery operation, the identification process, the coronial process and the police investigation as well as being given the opportunity to ask questions. The survivors are also being updated.

A total of 60 people who died in the fire have now been formerly identified plus baby Logan who was stillborn afterwards. The number of people who are believed to have died remains at about 80. The final figure will not be known until the end of the search, recovery and identification processes, but officers believe the final figure may not even be as high as 80.

Everyone identified to date is a person officers sadly anticipated to find within Grenfell Tower and their families are all being supported by trained family liaison officers.

It is expected the search and recovery operation will be complete by about the end of the year.

Following structural work inside the tower, the Met has been able to double the number of search teams to help finish the search as soon as possible. So far a fingertip search has been completed in around half the flats, with those prioritised where it is believed people died. About 15.5 tonnes of material is being searched through on every floor.

HARROWING

The police investigation continues, uniquely at the same time as a public inquiry, with which the MPS is co-operating. Detective Chief Superintendent Fiona McCormack said:

“The investigation into what happened at Grenfell Tower is a priority for the Met and we are determined to find the answers that so many desperately seek. The distress and suffering caused to so many families and loved ones that night is harrowing. That night people lost their homes, all their possessions and tragically their families and loved ones.

“Outside of counter-terrorism investigations, this is the biggest investigation the MPS is undertaking and the scale is huge. Last night we were keen to help the families understand that this is a massive investigation and it will take a long time. But we only get one chance to investigate and it is important things are done properly.

“We hope by the end of the year our search teams will have finished their work inside the tower and the formal identifications will be complete. We are committed to finding, recovering and identifying everyone who died as quickly as we can.”

McCormack added:

“We do now think the final figure of those who died may not be as high as 80 but we don’t know exactly at this stage.

“We have analysed the thousands of calls received after the fire to confirm and eliminate missing people as well as looking at CCTV from the foyer which shows us clearly some 240 people who escaped the fire. Some of those missing person reports were mistaken and a small number were fraudulent. The process is ongoing but we now have a better idea of figures. However, we still don’t know if there was someone inside Grenfell Tower who died who was not reported missing, and we won’t know until the searches are complete.”

Around 200 officers, drawn from across the Met, are working full-time on the Grenfell Tower investigation in a variety of roles including family liaison, search teams, statement-takers and exhibits officers.

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