79 presumed dead in London high-rise fire

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 14: Smoke rises from the building after a huge fire engulfed the 24 storey residential Grenfell Tower block in Latimer Road, West London in the early hours of this morning on June 14, 2017 in London, England. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has declared the fire a major incident as more than 200 firefighters are still tackling the blaze while at least six are dead and 20 are in critical care. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

LONDON — At least 79 people are dead or missing and presumed dead following last week’s fire at a high-rise apartment building in west London, police said Monday.

Of the 79, only five have been formally identified, London’s Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy told reporters. Cundy also said that five people who had originally been reported as missing were found safe and well following the blaze at Grenfell Tower.

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

Police are still looking for images or video to help establish how the fire started and how it spread, but Cundy said the investigation is exhaustive and far-reaching in a number of areas.