Number of dead or missing in London apartment fire rises to 79

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By: Associated Press
June 19, 2017

LONDON (AP) -- London police say the number of people reported dead or missing in the high-rise apartment building fire is now 79.

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

Cundy says the number may change as the investigation continues, with crews conducting a search and recovery operation in the 24-story Grenfell Tower.

He said, "It's hard to describe the devastation the fire has caused."

Cundy added that authorities are investigating whether any crimes had been committed during the fire.

Two British officials said Sunday that new exterior cladding used in a renovation of Grenfell Tower may have been banned under U.K. building regulations. The paneling has been blamed for quickly spreading the flames.

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