Twelve people have now been confirmed dead in the Grenfell Tower block inferno, in north Kensington.
Commander Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan Police Service gave an update this afternoon (Wed) on the horror blaze. He said: “This remains an active operation by our colleagues from the Fire Brigade.
“Sadly I can confirm that 12 people have died that we know of. There is going to be a long and complex recovery operation. I do anticipate the number of fatalities will sadly increase beyond those 12 people.
“The thoughts of all of us from the emergency services – and I am sure colleagues from the local authority and all Londoners – are with those that have been so affected by a fire on a scale that we have probably not seen in London for many, many years.
“I have said before, and I would reiterate again, from a police perspective what’s really important that we identify and account for everybody.
“We have had call handlers in our Casualty Bureau taking hundreds of calls today. Now our experience shows us in cases like this, it is very, very challenging to put a number on how many people are unaccounted for.
“Our priority is clearly those we know would have been resident within Grenfell Tower, but there might have been others that were staying with family or friends. So if you do have any concerns, please contact the Casualty Bureau.
“If you have been reported missing, or reported somebody missing and they are now found safe and well, again I would reiterate, please contact the Casualty Bureau, so we know that person is safe and well.
“Thank you very much to all the community for their patience. This is going to be a long operation as I said a moment ago. Not just today and not just tonight, as we make sure the fire is completely put out, but then the recovery operation from the tower itself. It will be vitally important as we work closely with the Coroner that we locate and identify all those that have tragically died within this truly truly shocking fire.
“There are a number of reception centres that have been set up locally. There are a lot of people that have been truly affected by this fire and I would request that you, the media, please bear that in mind with the reporting and some of the imagery that I know has already gone out on social media. Thank you.”
The Metropolitan Police Casualty Bureau phone number is 0800 0961 233. If you don’t get through first time – please keep trying.