The Latest: London fire deadliest in UK since 20th century

In this photo released by the Metropolitan Police on Sunday, June 18, 2017, a view of an apartment in the Grenfell Tower after fire engulfed the 24-storey building, in London. ??Experts believe the exterior cladding, which contained insulation, helpeThe Associated Press
In this photo released by the Metropolitan Police on Sunday, June 18, 2017, a view of an apartment in the Grenfell Tower after fire engulfed the 24-storey building, in London. ??Experts believe the exterior cladding, which contained insulation, helped spread the flames quickly up the outside of the public housing tower early Wednesday morning. Some said they had never seen a building fire advance so quickly. The 24-story tower that once housed up to 600 people in 120 apartments is now a charred ruin. (Metropolitan Police via AP)

The Latest on the London high-rise fire (all times local):

1 p.m.

European researchers say that the Grenfell Tower disaster is now the deadliest fire in mainland Britain since they started keeping close records at the start of the 20th century.

London police say that 79 people are now believed to have died in last week's high-rise apartment building fire.

The Emergency Events Database at the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium compiles natural and man-made disasters around the world. The database tracks fires from 1900 to the present.

It says that the Grenfell fire ranks above the fire at Bradford City Stadium in northern England on May 11, 1985, when flames swept through the wooden stands and killed 56 people.

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11 a.m.

Britain has held a moment of silence for the 79 people who are believed to have died in the high-rise fire in West London.

Emergency service workers bowed their heads in respect to the victims of the catastrophic blaze.

The fire ripped through the 24-story tower early Wednesday. Two British officials have said that new exterior cladding used in a renovation of Grenfell Tower may have been banned under U.K. building regulations. The paneling has been blamed for quickly spreading the flames.

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10:45 a.m.

London police say that the number of dead or missing in the high-rise apartment building fire is now 79.

Police Commander 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-story 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.