At least 79 people presumed dead in London high-rise fire

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The number of people who are presumed to have died in last week’s high-rise fire in London has risen to at least 79, British police confirmed on Monday, warning that some of the victims may never be identified.

Commander Stuart Cundy, of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), said another 26 people are now presumed to have died in the fire, raising the total number to 79. This includes at least 30 people whose bodies have already been located.

Although the overall number has increased from 58 on Saturday, five people have been confirmed safe after they were previously listed as missing and presumed dead. Cundy noted that the number of people presumed dead may continue to fluctuate for various reasons.

“Our work to recover those people from inside is ongoing – specialist teams from the London Fire Brigade, London Ambulance Service and the police are continuing their painstaking task to locate and recover all those in Grenfell Tower,” Cundy said.

Four more people whose bodies have been recovered were identified on Monday: 24-year-old Ya-Haddy Sisi Saye (also known as Khadija Saye), 65-year-old Anthony Disson, 39-year-old Abufars Ibrahim, and 52-year-old Khadija Khalloufi. A fifth victim, 23-year-old Mohammad Alhajali, was identified on Saturday.

“It is an awful reality that some people may not be identified due to the intensity of the fire,” Cundy explained. “The identification process [..] is to international disaster identification standards, meaning we are relying on dental records, finger prints or DNA.”

The fire began just before 1 a.m. last Wednesday when firefighters were called to the 24-story apartment building in west London. Many residents were trapped inside as a massive fire engulfed the building in less than 30 minutes, making it one of Britain’s deadliest fires in decades.

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