Grenfell Fire: Police Confirm ‘87 Recoveries’ From Damaged Tower But Warn ‘That Is Not 87 People’
Police say they have made “87 recoveries” from the Grenfell Tower but stressed that “the catastrophic damage” inside means “that is not 87 people”.
Authorities believe at least 80 people died in the June 14 fire but have said they may not know the exact death toll before the end of the year.
Commander Stuart Cundy said that on Monday police recovered the “last of the visible human remains” from the tower.
“In total, we have made 87 recoveries but I must stress that the catastrophic damage inside Grenfell Tower means that is not 87 people,” he said today.
“Until formal identification has been completed to the Coroner’s satisfaction, I cannot say how many people have now been recovered.”
Tributes to those missing are left near Grenfell Tower on June 26, nearly two weeks after the fire
Lotifa Begum from Muslim Aid – a charity helping to organise funerals for some of the victims – said that survivors and relatives were distressed to learn the recovery process could take until the end of the year.
She said many Grenfell Tower residents were “very upset and angry” following a meeting on Tuesday night with Cundy and Westminster Coroner Fiona Wilcox which led to several walking out.
At the meeting, residents were told in graphic details why the recovery process was so so challenging with Wilcox describing the “apocalyptic” scenes that greeted emergency workers.
Residents had expressed concern about the overall death toll and the time it was taking to identify the dead.
People gather outside of the meeting with Grenfell authorities
More than 50 relatives and members of survivors’ families attended the meeting at Olympia London in West Kensington, just over a mile from Grenfell Tower. The meeting was closed to media.
Those attending had to submit questions before the meeting and residents have expressed anger at not being able to question Cundy or coroner Fiona Wilcox directly.
Chris Imafidon, whose close friend Mohamed Amied Neda had lived on the 23rd floor of the tower, told he felt “insulted” that victims’ families were not allowed to ask questions.
“Why would you not take questions if you don’t have anything to hide?” Imafidon asked.
Wednesday marks three weeks since the fire and the Government’s deadline for rehousing everyone who lost their homes.
The majority of survivors remain in hotels with just nine households hoping to be moved out of emergency accommodation accepting offers for more permanent living arrangements, Grenfell Response Team (GRT) said.
Some 139 offers had been made following 158 housing needs assessments.
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