Investigators face a raft of complications in trying to identify those caught up in London’s horror fire, a forensics specialist is warning.
Peter Vanezis, who is professor of forensic medical sciences at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, said overnight difficulties in locating the bodies among the charred remains will likely provide the first hurdle for detectives.
At least 17 people are dead after Grenfell Towers in west London was engulfed in flames on Wednesday.
Metropolitan police commander Stuart Cundy said some victims may remain unidentified and warned the process would probably take “a considerable period of time”.
The condition of bodies left inside the burning 24-storey tower block for more than 24 hours before the blaze was extinguished will also present added challenges as relatives wait for news on their loved ones.
“Identification may take some weeks or even months in some cases because of the state of some of the remains and families need to be updated as to progress on a regular basis and supported at all times,” Prof Vanezis said.
“Furthermore it will probably be some time before all victims are located due to the sheer difficulty of firefighters working in a building which is unsafe and will require a meticulous search of the debris.” PA