Death toll in London fire rises to 58, may still go higher

The 23-year-old Alhajali is the only victim of the Grenfell Tower fire to be officially named as the hard process of identifying human remains continues.

“Sadly, for many families, they have lost more than one family member, and my heart truly goes out to them”, he said.

London fire chief Dany Cotton told BBC radio that it might be “some days yet” before firefighters could say they have reached everyone in the building.

One of the burned-out apartments inside London’s Grenfell Tower.

A solemn Queen Elizabeth II marked a minute of silence for victims of the London high-rise inferno at the start of a procession Saturday to mark her official birthday.

Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy confirmed that the force now believes at least 79 people are dead or missing, presumed dead.

Engineering experts and fire safety specialists believe the building’s exterior cladding may have quickly fueled the blaze, overwhelming fire protection devices.

In other developments, a company that renovated the tower denied that cladding on the building was banned in the United Kingdom after comments made by Chancellor Philip Hammond.

Cundy said there may have been other people in the tower that police are not aware of, which would add to the final death toll.

Detectives investigating the massive fire at the Grenfell Tower in west London have released images and video footage from inside the building that show “the scale of the challenge” investigators face in recovering bodies.

Two British ministers say the cladding used in a renovation of Grenfell Tower may have been banned under United Kingdom building regulations.

The devastating fire erupted in the early hours of June 14 trapping several sleeping residents at the 24-storey Grenfell tower.

Other measures outlined by Prime Minister Theresa May following a meeting with residents at Downing Street on Saturday, included more staff covering phone lines and ground staff wearing high-visibility clothing so they could be easily found.

The horrific fire early Wednesday morning has put increased pressure on May and her senior ministers at a time when her authority has been weakened by an election that saw her Conservative Party lose its majority in Parliament.

He said the important thing is to find answers for the families that have been affected.

The number of the dead may change as investigations progress, police said. “This is an absolutely very bad fire that took place”, May said.

May also said that a public inquiry that is looking into the Grenfell Fire will report directly to her and that she has asked for daily updates from the neighbourhood to be sent to her.