After identifying all of the victims from the July 14 inferno that engulfed London’s Grenfell Tower, the UK police have put the final death toll at 71, dismissing reports that claim bigger numbers.
The number includes 70 people who died in the fire and a stillborn child, officials said Thursday, noting that they had recovered what they thought was the last of the bodies.
According to police data, a family of six and at least three families of five had lost their lives in the incident with the oldest victim being an 84-year-old woman.
“Our search operation and ongoing investigation is about those people. Tragically, that night, 70 children and adults died and a baby was stillborn,” said the Metropolitan police commander, Stuart Cundy.
“The human cost and terrible reality of what took place at Grenfell Tower affects so many people,” added Cundy, who oversaw the police investigation.
Around 400 people had been listed as missing in the immediate aftermath of the blaze. Citing video footage, however, police said as many as 223 people had escaped the fire, while others were not at home at the time.
A few weeks after the fire, the Metropolitan Police said the exact death toll will remain unknown until at least the end of this year.
Police’s account of the real number of casualties has been disputed by some officials, residents and people who had volunteered to help the survivors.
Nadia, whose family name was not given, told Press TV thin mid-June that only 76 out of some 600 people who were living in the building where she grew up, had been accounted for and more than 500 residents were still missing.
Labour MP David Lammy also warned about the number of missing people in the aftermath of the fire, accusing the culprits of the fire committing “corporate manslaughter.”
The block fire was followed by a slew of suicides by at least 20 residents and witnesses of the terrifying incident.
UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has said that Prime Minister Theresa May and her government should be held into account for the fire.