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CBC News Posted: Jun 19, 2017 5:56 AM ET Last Updated: Jun 19, 2017 5:57 AM ET

London police say that the number of dead or missing in aftermath of last week’s fire at a highrise apartment tower is now 79.

Police Cmdr. Stuart Cundy gave the new figure during a statement outside Scotland Yard on Monday. The previous figure given was 58.

Cundy says the new number may change as investigation continues. He said that the search and recovery operation in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower continues, and it has been incredibly distressing for families.

He said that “it’s hard to describe the devastation the fire has caused.” Cundy added that authorities are investigating whether any crimes had been committed in the fire.

Two British officials said Sunday that new exterior cladding used in a renovation of Grenfell Tower may have been banned under U.K. building regulations.

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