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Grenfell Tower building materials may have been illegal, UK ministers say

19 June 2017

He said there are roughly 2,500 similar apartment towers throughout Britain.

Two British ministers say the cladding used in a renovation of Grenfell Tower may have been banned under United Kingdom building regulations.

"My understanding is that the cladding that was reported wasn't in accordance with United Kingdom building regulations", Hands told Sky News.

Investigators now believe that the number of people missing and feared dead has risen beyond Saturday's estimate of 58.

The cause of Wednesday's blaze is still under investigation, but anger has mounted in the community amid reports that exterior paneling used in an extensive renovation completed a year ago may have been banned by United Kingdom rules.

The tragedy was a "preventable accident that didn't need to happen and the tragedy we're seeing is because of the consequences of mistakes and neglect from the politicians, the council and the government".

"What I'm hearing from the leading fire safety experts is that it isn't necessarily necessary to retrofit sprinklers to make a building fire safe", he said to the incredulous BBC1 host.

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He said the government is carrying out an "urgent inspection" of other tower blocks in Britain to assess safety.

Public anger is mounting as residents and neighbors demand answers for how the blaze early Wednesday spread so quickly and trapped so numerous tower's 600-odd residents.

He said the fire - which is thought to have killed at least 58 people - was the effect of the "mistakes and neglect from the politicians - the council and the government".

"At this stage, it is my grave concern that the families of Grenfell Tower will not get justice if documents are being quietly destroyed and shredded and emails are being deleted", Lammy (pictured below) further warned. London Mayor Sadiq Khan was in attendance, and told reporters afterwards that some of the stories he'd heard would stay with him "forever".

He says it may be necessary for numerous outmoded tower blocks built in the 1970s to be demolished because of safety concerns.

Amid reports that the government is struggling to find housing for the hundreds of Grenfell Tower survivors left homeless by the blaze, Corbyn called on May to repossess empty homes and offer them to the displaced residents. "Occupy it, compulsory purchase it, requisition it - there's a lot of things you can do", he said.

Commander Stuart Cundy said the fire damage verged on "indescribable".

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He said the situation has become an emergency and that "all assets" should be brought to the table.

The borough said Friday that all residents of Grenfell Tower who had asked for help had been housed in hotels and that it was looking for interim accommodation for those people and others living nearby who could not return home.

Cundy said efforts to trace missing people had led him to believe that the number could be higher.

British officials say they are helping the Syrian family of the first officially confirmed victim of the London tower blaze - 23-year-old Mohammad Alhajali - to "travel to the these terribly sad circumstances".

His family said Alhajali "came to the United Kingdom because he had ambitions and aims for his life and for his family".

If at least 58 deaths are confirmed, the blaze would be London's deadliest since World War II.

Mrs May, who met victims at 10 Downing Street on Saturday, has ordered more boots on the ground at the scene after labelling the support given to families in the aftermath of the tragedy "not good enough".

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