Shortly before 01:00hrs on Wednesday, 14 June, the London Fire Brigade received the first of a series of emergency 999 calls to a fire at a residential tower block, namely Grenfell Tower, in north Kensington.

Tragically, the fire resulted in significant loss of life and serious injury. A large number of individuals, families and the wider community have been affected.

The fire was quickly declared a major incident and a pan-London multi-agency response was implemented.

The Metropolitan Police Service was one of the emergency services that responded that night and is now leading a criminal investigation into the fire.

This investigation is a priority for the Met. It is one of the largest and most complex in the Met's history.

Information on this page:

Recovery and identification The investigation
What has already happened and what we know Appeal for images or video of the incident
Other sources of information and support  

 

Recovery and identification

How many people have died as a result of the fire in Grenfell Tower?

The Met does not want there to be any hidden victims of this terrible fire.

Sadly, it will take many months for the police or coroner to be able to provide a number that is believed to accurately represent the total loss of life inside Grenfell Tower.

Only after the search and recovery operation inside Grenfell Tower is complete, and the identification process carried out by experts has concluded, will the police be in a position to confirm the number of people who lost their lives.

At this stage, the Met believes around 80 people have died or are sadly missing and must be presumed dead.

The Met was given a list of those recorded as living in Grenfell Tower by the tenant management organisation on the first day, however by the end of that day the Met identified the list was not accurate. Detectives have been examining every possible source of information, from government agencies to fast food delivery companies to understand who lived in Grenfell Tower.

The police have been able to speak with at least one occupant of 106 of the flats in Grenfell Tower. They have confirmed to police that 18 people are either dead or missing and presumed dead from those flats.

The terrible reality is that this means there are 23 flats where despite investigative efforts, the Met has been unable to trace anyone alive who lived there. At this stage, it is presumed that none of the occupants from these flats survived the fire.

What is currently being done by the police as part of the search and recovery operation in Grenfell Tower?

In order to be sure that we know how many did not survive the fire at Grenfell Tower, the police must complete the search and recovery operation to recover all those who died. This is an exhaustive process undertaken by specially trained Disaster Victim Identification teams, supported by forensic experts, to recover all detectable human remains. All remains are then recovered to the mortuary where they are examined by experts, who will use all possible forensic techniques to identify those who have been recovered.

Both aspects of this process are painstaking and meticulous. Whilst every effort will be made to confirm the identification of individuals who have died, at the earliest opportunity, it will not be possible to provide a final number until all recovered remains have been subjected to a rigorous forensic process. It is estimated the recovery operation will take until the end of the year to complete.

Sadly, such was the intensity of the fire and devastation within Grenfell Tower, it is likely that some of the recovered remains will not be able to be attributed to a named victim.

How are those who died in the fire being identified?

Internationally recognised standards of identification are being used to identify the deceased. These are known as the INTERPOL Disaster Victim Identification Standards.

Those who died are identified where possible, by at least one of the primary identification methods which are dental comparison, fingerprints and DNA.

Other, secondary, identification features are also taken into consideration, such as tattoos and scars. Supporting information to consider can include jewellery, clothing or property.

Trained family liaison officers are supporting families throughout the recovery and identification of those who died.

These processes take place in conjunction with the Coroner.

How are families and loved ones of those who died, or who are missing presumed dead, being supported?

Specially trained family liaison officers are supporting families and loved ones. Family liaison officers are a direct contact between the investigation team and the bereaved. They are central to explaining the investigation, search and recovery operation, the process of victim identification and the Coronial process to families.

The investigation

What are the Met Police investigating?

The Met is leading a criminal investigation, working closely with the Fire Service, Health and Safety Executive and experts in fire and building safety.

At the heart of the police investigation is seeking to establish what happened to each and every person who lost their life.

It is a significant and far reaching investigation that will seek to identify how the fire started, how it spread and importantly why this happened.

The investigation will examine a number of areas including how Grenfell Tower was managed and maintained, fire safety measures and the most recent refurbishment that was carried out.

The Met will investigate any criminal offences that may have been committed including examination of all relevant legislation, Fire Safety Regulations, Health and Safety legislation, building regulations and any other relevant statutory or regulatory frameworks.

Who is investigating?

A specialist team of around 250 investigators are working on all aspects of the investigation. This involves work to locate, recover and identify all those who died as a result of the fire, support the families of those who died, or are missing and must be presumed dead, and to provide support to the coronial process.

This team has been drawn together from specialists and detectives across the whole of the Metropolitan Police Service.

The Chief Officer with overall responsibility for the operation is Commander Stuart Cundy.  The investigation team is led by Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack and Detective Chief Inspector Matthew Bonner is the Senior Investigating Officer.

What information do the police want as part of their investigation?

Detectives continue their appeals for any information about people who were in Grenfell Tower on the night of the fire, either living or visiting there.

This includes people who survived the fire but have not yet spoken to police, or people who have concerns that someone they know is still missing from that night.

As part of the investigation, detectives are also asking for anyone who has material of Grenfell Tower on fire on the night Wednesday, 14 June. Also, police want those people who lived in Grenfell Tower and may have images of the building’s fire safety features to provide them to the investigation team.

How can I contact the investigation team?

Call the incident room freephone number on 0800 032 4539, email Grenfell.investigation@met.police.uk or upload any material via www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk

What has already happened and what we know

What have the team done so far?

This investigation is a priority for the Met. The investigation will be exhaustive and must provide the answers that so many people are seeking and so desperately deserve.

The team have listened to each and every one of the over six hundred 999 calls made to the London Fire Brigade, London Ambulance Service and Metropolitan Police Service at the time of the fire.

Documentation has been, and continues to be seized from the growing number of companies and organisations that police have indentified as having a role to play in the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower alone. So far over 60 companies have been identified.

CCTV from the local area has been viewed by police, as well as material provided by the public.  This assists to build an understanding of how the fire spread across the outside of the building.

Statements are being taken from survivors of the fire. If you were in Grenfell Tower that night but have not yet spoken to police or had a statement taken, please call the freephone incident room number on 0800 032 4539.

Calls and information being provided to the incident room are being looked into. Detectives continue to appeal for anyone who lived in Grenfell Tower, or has lived there in the past, who had concerns about the fire safety measures or standards of the building to call the investigation team. Officers are particularly keen to hear from those people who had not previously reported concerns to either the tenant management organisation or the local authority.

Specialist experts from the Building Research Establishment are working on a flat by flat assessment of every safety feature, so the police investigation can provide individual accounts to every family and the public inquiry. There will be an independent assessment of any specific fire safety features in each flat, as well as every part of the building.

How did the fire in Grenfell Tower start?

All of the available expert evidence shows that the fire was not started deliberately. The fire started in a fridge freezer.

The make and model was a Hotpoint fridge freezer (FF 175BP).

As part of the police investigation it has been established that this model has not been subject to a product recall.

What safety tests have been carried out so far as part of the police investigation?

Working with experts, police are looking at every element of the construction of Grenfell Tower.  That includes the aluminum composite tiles, the insulation behind it, how the tiles were fixed to the building as well as how it was installed.

Tests will look at each aspect individually as well as how they all worked together as part of the building's cladding.

However, preliminary tests show the insulation samples collected from Grenfell Tower combusted soon after the test started. The initial tests on equivalent aluminum composite tiles failed the safety tests.

Such were the safety concerns with the outcome of these tests that the results were immediately shared with the Department for Communities and Local Government who are already sharing that information with local councils throughout the country.

Specialist experts from the Building Research Establishment are working on a flat by flat assessment of every safety feature, so the police investigation can provide individual accounts to every family and the public inquiry. There will be an independent assessment of any specific fire safety features in each flat, as well as every part of the building.

Appeal for images or video of the incident

We're appealing for anyone with any photos or videos relating to the incident to send them to our investigation team. Please select ‘Grenfell Investigation’ from the drop down menu before uploading anything.

Other sources of information and support

For latest information from the Met please visit our Grenfell Tower investigation page here.

For information about the government support available for people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, including: mental health support, bereavement support, and financial support,  please go here.

The gov.uk site is also collating government announcements related to the incident here.