Five missing after Grenfell Tower fire found 'safe and well'

Frederick Owens
June 19, 2017

"Equally, there may be people who thankfully may have managed to escape the fire and for whatever reason have not let their family or friends or police know", he said.

79 people are either dead or missing presumed dead after the fire on Tuesday morning.

The new total may change as the investigation continues, Commander Cundy said.

Cundy said the search and recovery operation was ongoing in the burnt-out 24-storey tower. Some said they had never seen a building fire advance so quickly.

He said it had been "incredibly emotional working in there ... On Saturday, I went in myself and went to the top floor".

The update came just before a nationwide minute's silence was held at 11 memory of the victims of what is the greatest loss of life by fire in London since World War II.

Stuart Cundy told reporters in London ahead of a minute's silence for the victims of last Wednesday's catastrophe in North Kensington. He said 250 investigators were looking at all criminal offences that may have been committed.

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Officials and UK Chancellor Philip Hammond have indicated that the external rain-screen cladding believed to be the cause of the rapid spread of the fire at the Grenfell Tower may have been banned under building regulations in the UK.

The building was previous year fitted with insulating cladding, but the material used is now believed to have been highly flammable and could have further inflamed the fire, helping it spread alarmingly fast throughout the building.

Cundy said his immediate priority was to identify the people who died in the building and to recover them as quickly as possible.

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

While emergency services have been widely praised for their handling of the disaster, the government has been criticized for a slow and inadequate response, with Prime Minister Theresa May facing public anger for failing to meet residents during her first visit to the site.

In addition, British health authorities will provide long-term bereavement counselling for those who lost loved ones in the tragedy.

Sources from within the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors (HKIS) suggested that the cladding design of Wing On Centre is quite different from that of Grenfell Tower.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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