'We know the death toll's higher': Grenfell Tower firefighters gagged

Heroic firefighters who pulled Grenfell Tower residents out of the inferno have been gagged from discussing the horrific scenes they witnessed.

The restriction comes amid fears the existing death toll of 80 could soon soar into triple figures.

A Fire Brigades Union representative said the real death toll was much higher than the figure released to the public.

“We know the death toll will be higher than the official figure – and we’re not talking about one or two higher. There’s a strong possibility we are talking about three figures.”

Firefighters have been gagged from discussing the horrific scenes they witnessed. Source: Getty Images
Firefighters search through the rubble in the inferno's aftermath. Source: Getty Images

Firefighters are now being told any discussion of the matter could infringe upon the criminal investigation.

“We’ve been told by our management don’t speak, ideally. The coroner has said it could obstruct the investigation,” one firefighter told The Sunday Mirror.

“I don’t know how it can – what’s happened has happened, but that’s what we’re being told.”

Meanwhile authorities have downplayed accusations that they’re concealing information, adding that it would take months for them to establish exactly how many people perished in the June 14 fire at North Kensington, West London.

Officials do not want to cause further upset by releasing figures until they are certain. The lack of clarity over the number of bodies still inside Grenfell has caused great distress among locals.

Labour MP for Tottenham said the public’s trust in their local government had hit rock bottom.

“Firefighters confirm larger numbers than 80. Survivors are also suggesting numbers well in excess of 100.

“And yet 17 days after the fire we have no list of survivors, the police have said we will have to wait until the end of the year for numbers.

The death toll is expected to grow into triple figures. Source: Getty Images

"It’s causing huge anxiety for people who want closure as they wait for news of their loved-ones and it feeds deep mistrust amongst the victims and survivors themselves.

“Trust is at rock bottom and the community need reassuring that the police, local authority and central government are doing all they can to at least come up with an estimation of how many people were in Grenfell Tower and how many survived.”

Metropolitan police confirmed that the names of the deceased would only be published once formal identification has taken place alongside the coroner.