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 5 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.
Details of victims emerge
While the political fallout from the tragedy continues, the names of those who died are beginning to emerge.
One was Gloria Trevisan, 26, an Italian architect living in London because her family was having financial difficulties back in Italy.
A lawyer for the family told CNN that Trevisan spoke with her parents before she died, telling them: “I am going to heaven. I will help you from up there.”
Mohammad Al-Hajali, 23, a refugee who fled Syria for the UK in 2014, was identified as another victim.
Mohammad and his brother Omar, both students, lived together on the 14th floor.
Omar, 25, survived, but the brothers were separated as firefighters tried to rescue them from the burning building early Wednesday.
The UK government has promised that all those left homeless by the disaster will be rehoused in the local area. But the government has been criticized for failing to act on recommendations from previous tower block fires.
The Prime Minister is facing particular scrutiny over the role of her new chief of staff, Gavin Barwell, who was housing minister until he lost his parliamentary seat in last week’s election.
Barwell had told lawmakers that the government intended to review fire safety standards following a fatal fire at Lakanal House, a London high-rise in 2009. Three women and three children died. Exterior paneling helped the fire spread.