London police raise Grenfell fire toll

2017-06-28 17:02
Burnham Tower is reflected in a water puddle near a fire hose during water-flow tests in London. (Frank Augstein, AP)Burnham Tower is reflected in a water puddle near a fire hose during water-flow tests in London. (Frank Augstein, AP)

Burnham Tower is reflected in a water puddle near a fire hose during water-flow tests in London. (Frank Augstein, AP)Burnham Tower is reflected in a water puddle near a fire hose during water-flow tests in London. (Frank Augstein, AP)

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London - British police have increased the toll in the Grenfell Tower fire to 80 dead or presumed dead.

Metropolitan Police Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack was updating reporters on Wednesday on the June 14 inferno. Police had previously said the fire claimed at least 79 lives.

Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Theresa May said authorities had tested 120 high-rise buildings in dozens of areas across Britain and found that all were fitted with external cladding panels that failed fire safety tests.

Flammable cladding has been blamed for the rapid spread of the Grenfell blaze.

Fire officials say panels on the building's exterior helped the blaze, which began with a refrigerator fire, shoot up the 24-storey tower.

The tragedy has prompted hard questions about building regulation and fire safety.

Political leaders are trading accusations about who is to blame. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Wednesday that it showed "the terrible consequences of deregulation and cutting corners".

But May said "there is a very wide issue here" that can't be pinned on any single government.

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