London tower fire: 79 now feared dead

Cundy explained that one of the reasons identification has been so hard is because dental records are needed from victims who hailed from different countries around the world.

Cundy said the number includes 30 deaths that already have been confirmed, as well as reports of people who are missing and presumed to have died.

Britain's trade minister says the exterior paneling used on the exterior of the London high-rise, in which dozens were killed in a fire, appears to have violated building rules.

Cundy said the "complex" and "exhaustive" inquiry will focus on a range of issues including how the building was constructed, a recent refurbishment of it, how it is managed and maintained and fire safety measures.

"This is incredibly distressing time for families".

"On Saturday I went in myself and went to the top floor", he said.

A Book of Condolence for the victims of last week's fire at Grenfell Tower in London is to be opened at Belfast City Hall.

The toll of those dead or missing in the Grenfell Tower fire in London now stands at 79, police say.

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The fire happened at the public housing building early Wednesday morning (June 14), while some residents were sleeping and others, awake in light of Ramadan.

The acknowledgement of the increased death toll will be welcomed by many survivors and families of victims, who have said that it is clear the number of those who perished is far higher than the figure previously given by police. Cundy added that authorities are investigating whether any crimes had been committed in the fire.

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.

Hands and Treasury chief Philip Hammond said in separate TV appearances that the cladding used on Grenfell seems to be prohibited by British regulations.

"We naturally welcome funds for those in need, though this does show once more the tendency to sideline residents' views", the residents said in a statement, the paper reported.

Aluminum cladding with insulation sandwiched between two panels has been blamed for helping to spread flames in major fires in many parts of the world, including blazes in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the United States. "There is a feeling from the community that they have been treated badly", he said.

Over the past few days, another five people who had been reported missing in the fire have been found to be safe and well, Cundy said, saying he's "so grateful" for the news.

British Prime Minister Theresa May herself had come in for a barrage of criticism over her own response to the disaster.

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