London’s Metropolitan Police yesterday said they had widened the investigation into the deadly Grenfell fire to include 336 firms thought to be involved in the construction, refurbishment or management of the tower.
Manslaughter is among the offences that may be discovered, the force said.
Outside of counter-terrorism investigations, this is the biggest investigation the [Met] is undertaking and the scale is huge– Detective Chief Superintendant Fiona McCormack
Called the force’s biggest probe outside counter-terrorism, the investigation is now focussed on the fabric of the building, which was refurbished and fitted with new cladding before it erupted in flames in June this year.
With 200 of its officers working full time on the fire’s causes and the response of emergency services, the Met said the number of involved companies it wants to quiz had grown from 60 to 336.
More than 31 million documents have been recovered – a number likely to increase – and specialist software will be used to search for evidence.
Corporate and individual manslaughter, breaches of fire, health and safety regulations, fraud and misconduct are among the offences that may be discovered, the Met said.
Detective Chief Superintendant Fiona McCormack called it a "massive investigation".
"Outside of counter-terrorism investigations, this is the biggest investigation the [Met] is undertaking and the scale is huge," she said.
A total of 60 people who died in the fire have now been formally identified, with the number of people who are believed to have died put at about 80.
The forensic examination of the tower is ongoing and will continue into the New Year.
This includes photographing and documenting every room on every floor, paying particular attention to fire safety provisions such as fire doors, the standards of construction work, the routing of pipework and smoke extraction systems.
Image: Grenfell Tower still burning at 4.43am on 14 June 2017, London (Natalie Oxford/CC 4.0)