‘Last of visible human remains’ recovered at Grenfell Tower
‘Catastrophic damage’ inside the tower means formal identification has still to take place, Met Commander Stuart Cundy said.
Police investigating the Grenfell Tower disaster say they have recovered the “last of the visible human remains” from the high-rise, three weeks on from the devastating blaze.
Commander Stuart Cundy, who is overseeing the Metropolitan Police response to the fire, said “87 recoveries” had been made, but stressed “the catastrophic damage” inside meant “that is not 87 people”.
Some 21 bodies have been formally identified by the coroner and their families informed.
Specialist officers have begun “meticulously” sifting through about 15.5 tonnes of debris on each floor by hand for any human remains still within the tower, he said.
Of the operation, one of the largest and most complex in the Met’s history, Mr Cundy said: “Tragically, there are still 23 flats where despite our investigative efforts we have been unable to trace or speak to anyone who was in those properties on the night. We assume that sadly no-one from any of those flats survived.”
He said he did not want there to be any “hidden victims” but was unable to say “with any certainty” how many people may have been in those flats, either as occupiers or visitors, until the search was complete.
It comes as most survivors displaced from Grenfell Tower and Walk are still living in hotels three weeks after the deadly blaze as the Government attempts to find them suitable accommodation.
Fourteen households hoping to be moved out of emergency accommodation have accepted offers for permanent or temporary living arrangements, Grenfell Response Team (GRT) said.
It also emerged a specialist taskforce will be sent in to Kensington and Chelsea Council to take over the running of key services, following heavy criticism of its response to the disaster.
Those arranging a funeral for a family member, or loved one, can receive £10,000 to help with the costs #Grenfell 1/4— Grenfell Response (@grenfellsupport) July 5, 2017
If more than one funeral needs to be arranged, more than one payment can be received #Grenfell 2/4— Grenfell Response (@grenfellsupport) July 5, 2017
People should speak to their Family Liaison Officer or Local Authority Key Worker for more information and help through the process. 3/4— Grenfell Response (@grenfellsupport) July 5, 2017
Simple details are needed to formally confirm next of kin and who will be responsible for arranging the funeral #Grenfell 4/4— Grenfell Response (@grenfellsupport) July 5, 2017
Campaigners and residents claim little headway has been made, with residents said to have been offered properties that are either out of the borough, too expensive or on a one-year contract.
Some 139 offers had been made following 158 housing needs assessments by Wednesday, the three-week deadline the Government set itself for offering housing to all of those displaced by the blaze.