On Sunday, investigators released photographs and video footage showing what’s left of the inside the 24-storey apartment building that was engulfed in flames in the early morning hours of last Wednesday.
Footage from inside the building shows partially melted washing machines and fridges among heaps of twisted metal and other debris.
At a press conference Sunday, Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said the scale of the damage “verge on indescribable.”
“It is really important that we are clear about the scale of the challenge facing us as our teams search Grenfell Tower to recover those people still inside and return them to their loved ones. Whilst our teams have been from the bottom to the top of the tower, we must now carry out a full forensic and systematic search,” the commander explained. “The conditions due to the fire damage verge on indescribable, which is why this will be such a lengthy operation taking weeks to complete. We must also prepare people for the terrible reality that some people may not be identified due to the intensity of the fire.”
On Monday, police confirmed 79 people are either dead or missing and those who are unaccounted for are presumed to be dead. Only five people have been formally identified.
“The terrible reality of the fire that night means that we are supporting some people who may have lost a number of members of their family on that night,” Cundy said.
The commander warned again the numbers may change “for a number of reasons” adding that it’s possible that families of some of the victims may not have known they had loved ones in the building at the time of the blaze.
“Equally there may be people who were in there that we believe are missing that did escape but for whatever reason have not let it be known that they’re safe and well, so again I would appeal to them directly.”
Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered a public inquiry into what caused the apartment that once housed nearly 600 people in 120 units, to go up into flames.