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London fire: Death toll rises to 79; police says the number could go even higher

London: London police say that the number of dead or missing in the high-rise apartment building fire is now 79.

 London fire: Death toll rises to 79; police says the number could go even higher

The scorched facade of London's Grenfell Tower. AP

Police Commander Stuart Cundy gave the new figure during a statement outside Scotland Yard on Monday. The previous figure given was 58.

Cundy says the new number may change as investigation continues. He said that the search and recovery operation in the 24-story Grenfell Tower continues, and it has been incredibly distressing for families.

He said that "it's hard to describe the devastation the fire has caused." Cundy added that authorities are investigating whether any crimes had been committed in the fire.

Two British officials said Sunday that new exterior cladding used in a renovation of Grenfell Tower may have been banned under UK building regulations.

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Updated Date: Jun 19, 2017 15:48:19 IST