Sunday 25 August 2019

Final death toll from Grenfell Tower put at 70 plus stillborn baby

The fire at Grenfell Tower in west London
The fire at Grenfell Tower in west London

Aine Fox

Seventy people and a stillborn baby make up the final death toll in the Grenfell Tower fire, police have confirmed.

All those who died in the blaze in west London five months ago have been recovered and identified, the Metropolitan Police believe.

A baby, Logan Gomes, who was stillborn, has been recorded as a victim of the fire.

Commander Stuart Cundy said: "The human cost and terrible reality of what took place at Grenfell Tower affects so many people.

"Our search operation and ongoing investigation is about those people. Tragically, that night, 70 children and adults died and a baby was stillborn.

"My thoughts and those of all my colleagues in the Met Police are with all those who lost their loved ones, those who survived, the local community and all those who live with this tragedy every day."

Undated handout photos of 27 of the confirmed victims who died in the Grenfell Tower fire. (top row left to right) Mohammad Alhajali, Ya-Haddy Sisi Saye, also known as Khadija Saye, Anthony Disson, Khadija Khalloufi, Mary Mendy, (second row left to right) Isaac Paulos, Sheila, Gloria Trevisan, Marco Gottardi, Berkti Haftom, (third row left to right) Ali Jafari, Majorie Vital, Yahya Hashim, Hamid Kani, Jessica Urbano Ramirez, (fouth row left to right) Zainab Deen, Nura Jemal, Jeremiah Deen, Yasin El Wahab, Firdaws Hashim, (fifth row left to right) Hasim Kedir, Deborah Lamprell, Ernie Vital, Sakina Afrasehabi, Denis Murphy, (sixth row left to right) Raymond Bernard and Biruk Haftom. Photo: PA/PA Wire
Undated handout photos of 27 of the confirmed victims who died in the Grenfell Tower fire. (top row left to right) Mohammad Alhajali, Ya-Haddy Sisi Saye, also known as Khadija Saye, Anthony Disson, Khadija Khalloufi, Mary Mendy, (second row left to right) Isaac Paulos, Sheila, Gloria Trevisan, Marco Gottardi, Berkti Haftom, (third row left to right) Ali Jafari, Majorie Vital, Yahya Hashim, Hamid Kani, Jessica Urbano Ramirez, (fouth row left to right) Zainab Deen, Nura Jemal, Jeremiah Deen, Yasin El Wahab, Firdaws Hashim, (fifth row left to right) Hasim Kedir, Deborah Lamprell, Ernie Vital, Sakina Afrasehabi, Denis Murphy, (sixth row left to right) Raymond Bernard and Biruk Haftom. Photo: PA/PA Wire

In the immediate aftermath of the blaze 400 people were listed as missing.

Police said footage showed 223 people escaping the fire, while others were not at home on the night of June 14.

Read More: 'It looked like Grenfell' - Shocked Belfast tower block residents' anger at not hearing fire alarms before blaze

Mr Cundy said police had undertaken a "meticulous" search, recovery and identification operation.

He said: "Specialist teams working inside Grenfell Tower and the mortuary have pushed the boundaries of what was scientifically possible to identify people."

Investigators examined 15.5 tonnes of debris on each floor, carrying out full forensic fingertip searches throughout the 24-storey building.

The search operation, described by the Met as "mammoth", is expected to finish next month.

The final inquests are due to be opened and adjourned on November 22.

Police are continuing their criminal investigation into the fire, pledging to "find the answers that so many people so desperately want".

Read More: Woman charged with making fraudulent claims for Grenfell Tower fire support

In September Scotland Yard said its criminal investigation may consider individual as well as corporate manslaughter charges.

A public inquiry, led by retired Court of Appeal judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick, is looking at events on the night of the fire, how and why the block came to be wrapped in flammable cladding and insulation, and the response of Kensington and Chelsea Council and central Government after the fire.

Procedural hearings in the inquiry will take place on December 11 and 12.

The death toll was initially feared to be much higher as the Met handled thousands of calls from people who believed they knew someone who had been trapped in the tower.

One person was reported missing 46 times, while others were reported under different names and even slight differences of spellings of names had to be investigated.

There were also a number of false claims, and eight people have been charged or are under investigation for fraud in connection with the disaster.

Smoke billowing from the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London (Rick Findler/PA)
Smoke billowing from the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London (Rick Findler/PA)

PA Media

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News