Dead, missing toll in London high-rise apartments fire rises to 79, police say

UPDATES:

6:15 A.M. — Britain has held a moment of silence for the 79 people who are believed to have died in the high-rise fire in West London.

Emergency service workers bowed their heads in respect to the victims of the catastrophic blaze.

The fire ripped through the 24-story tower early Wednesday.

Two British officials have said that new exterior cladding used in a renovation of Grenfell Tower may have been banned under U.K. building regulations. The paneling has been blamed for quickly spreading the flames.


(ORIGINAL STORY)

LONDON, England (AP) — London police say the number of dead or missing in the high-rise apartment building fire is now 79.

Police Commander Stuart Cundy gave the new figure during a statement outside Scotland Yard on Monday. The previous figure given was 58.

Cundy says the new number may change as investigation continues. He says the search and recovery operation in the 24-story Grenfell Tower continues, and it has been incredibly distressing for families.

He says “it’s hard to describe the devastation the fire has caused.” Cundy adds authorities are investigating whether any crimes had been committed in the fire.

Two British officials say Sunday new exterior cladding used in a renovation of Grenfell Tower may have been banned under U.K. building regulations.

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