The total number of people killed in the Grenfell Tower blaze is 71, police have announced, saying it is “highly unlikely” anyone remains inside the shell of the burnt out building.
Met Police announced this morning that all those killed in the fire in June have now been recovered and identified following a “meticulous” search of every flat in the building.
Officers performed a full forensic fingertip search of the tower, examining 15.5 tonnes of debris on each floor.
A stillborn baby, Logan, has been recorded among the 71 people who lost their lives in the fire.
Victoria King, 71, and her 40-year-old daughter Alexandra Atala were the final two victims of the Grenfell Tower fire to be formally identified, Scotland Yard said.
Based on CCTV footage, police believe that 293 people were in Grenfell Tower when the fire started, with 223 residents and guests successfully fleeing the flames.
Commander Stuart Cundy said the “human cost” of the fire has affected “so many” people.
“I have been clear from the start that a priority for us was recovering all those who died, and identifying and returning them to their families,” he said.
“I cannot imagine the agony and uncertainty that some families and loved ones have been through whilst we have carried out our meticulous search, recovery and identification process.”
In the wake of the fire, as many as 400 people were reported as missing, with the Met Police receiving thousands of calls from worried loved ones.
At the time, the force estimated that around 80 people had been killed in the blaze.
While the search operation is not expected to end until early December, the force said that, based on expert advice, it’s unlikely that anyone else will be recovered.
“Specialist teams working inside Grenfell Tower and the mortuary have pushed the boundaries of what was scientifically possible to identify people,” Cundy said.
“After the fire was finally put out I entered Grenfell Tower and was genuinely concerned that due to the intensity and duration of the fire, that we may not find, recover and then identify all those who died.
“I know that each and every member of the team has done absolutely all they can to make this possible. They have done that for every person who lost their life, their families and loved ones, and all those for whom Grenfell Tower was home.”
He added: “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.”
The death toll has led to renewed calls from within the community to have the building covered up.
Joe Delaney, of the Grenfell Action Group, told HuffPost UK that the sight of the burned out tower is having a significant effect on the mental health survivors and nearby residents.
“Imagine if you lived near a graveyard and you know people you know are in there?” he said.
“Can you imagine the psychological daily impact that would have, especially if they were people who died in horrible circumstances?”