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UK’s May Demands Major Probe Following High-rise Blaze

  • VOA News

FILE - Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, center, speaks to firefighters after arriving at Grenfell Tower in London, June 15, 2017, following a deadly fire in the apartment building.

British Prime Minister Theresa May demanded a "major national investigation" into exterior cladding used in high-rise buildings after police identified a five-year-old boy as the youngest victim of the Grenfell tower fire.

"The prime minister said there would need to be a major national investigation into what had gone wrong, when cladding which is failing the tests had been fitted on buildings across the country over a number of decades," May's spokesman said Tuesday, confirming that 95 similar buildings tested had failed fire safety tests.

The tests were initiated following the recent deadly London fire at Grenfell Tower. Grenfell's exterior insulation is thought to have been responsible for the rapid acceleration of the blaze, resulting in the deaths of at least 79 people, fire officials said.

The burnt-out Grenfell Tower apartment building is seen following the recent fire it sustained, in London, June 23, 2017.
The burnt-out Grenfell Tower apartment building is seen following the recent fire it sustained, in London, June 23, 2017.

As the final results of the tests were made public Monday, U.S.-based Arconic, which made the cladding used on Grenfell Tower, said it would stop global sales of the product.

Police identified five-year-old Isaac Paulos on Tuesday as the youngest victim of the Grenfell blaze, who they said died of inhaling fire and smoke fumes. Coroner Fiona Wilcox said that only 18 of the victims have been identified thus far, and that work to identify the rest is ongoing.

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