29/06/2017 12:14 AM AEST | Updated 29/06/2017 12:38 AM AEST

Grenfell Fire Death Toll 'May Not Be Known This Year'

The final death toll following the fire at the Grenfell Tower in north Kensington may not be known for many months, police say. 

It comes as the official number of people missing presumed dead was raised from 79 to 80. Just 18 victims of the fire have been formally identified. 

But police warned that they had still made no contact with anyone from 23 of the 129 flats. 

PA Wire/PA Images
The remains of the Grenfell Tower 

Met Police DS Fiona McCormack said: “It would be impossible for anyone to produce a list to show exactly who was at Grenfell Tower that night.” 

She added the force was “many months” from a more accurate number of those who died, with search and rescue efforts to continue to at least the end of the year. 

Earlier today Prime Minister Theresa May said authorities have tested 120 high-rise buildings in dozens of areas across Britain and found that all were fitted with external cladding panels that failed fire safety tests.

Flammable cladding has been blamed for the rapid spread of the Grenfell blaze on 14 June.

The tragedy has prompted hard questions about building regulation and fire safety.

Political leaders are trading accusations about who is to blame. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said it showed “the terrible consequences of deregulation and cutting corners.” But May said “there is a very wide issue here” that can’t be pinned on any single government.


Grenfell Tower Dead