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London police: Manslaughter charges being considered in Grenfell Tower fire

23 June 2017

In a statement on Friday, Scotland Yard's Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack said both the insulation and tiles used in cladding at the west London high-rise failed all safety tests.

McCormack said the Hotpoint FF175BP fridge-freezer had not been subject to any product recalls.

The building's cladding failed all safety tests.

Police are considering manslaughter charges in the case, McCormack said, along with other "criminal offences and breaches of legislation and regulations", as they investigate the fire. She urged families and friends of missing Grenfell residents who had not yet contacted the police to come forward.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also expressed support for a complete amnesty for immigrants who may have been living in the tower illegally at the time of the blaze.

Alan Brunt, who is chief executive of housing association Bron Afon, said: "This tragic fire has led to some anxious tenants contacting us".

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The insulation caught fire nearly immediately after tests started, she said.

"Some of that is dependent on the size, some of that is dependent on the type of cladding used throughout, or how much cladding is used, so that's what they will ascertain when they go and check it out, which is happening now on some of these buildings".

Business Minister Margot James wrote to trade associations representing all major household appliance manufacturers last week outlining the government's expectation of action by their members should a household appliance be found to have played a part in the Grenfell Tower fire.

Combustible cladding is believed to have been the cause for the fire being so deadly and checks are now being carried out on buildings across the country to find out the number of buildings which have it.

But, McCormack said, "Next week we will be installing a lift to the outside of the building to assist the recovery process".

The aftermath of the fire shows the devastation of Grenfell Tower in London.

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The affected buildings, housing potentially thousands of residents, are in eight local authority areas, including Manchester, Plymouth and Camden in north London, Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid said in a letter to lawmakers.

It has prompted a wider review of social housing which has identified at least 600 towers in England with similar cladding.

The Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 79 people, started in a refrigerator.

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Officials are concerned that they don't have the full picture of who, exactly, was in the tower on the night of the blaze.

"The Home Office has assured us that they are not interested in people's immigration status and we are not interested in looking at that".

Birmingham is taking the unilateral decision, which it estimates could cost up to £31 million, after the Grenfell Tower fire in which at least 79 people died.

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