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Death toll rises in Grenfell fire as UK asks hard questions

Niklas Halle'n, AFP | Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, London.

The death toll in the Grenfell Tower fire in London now stands at 80 dead or presumed dead.

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Fiona McCormack of London’s Metropolitan Police updated reporters Wednesday on the June 14 blaze. Before, police had said at least 79 were killed.

Earlier Wednesday, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that authorities have tested 120 high-rise buildings across Britain. They found that all were fitted with external cladding that failed fire safety tests.

Flammable cladding has been blamed for the Grenfell fire’s terrifyingly fast spread through the building.

Tough questions about building regulation and fire safety have followed the tragedy.

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

Housing official: 'Local authorities not giving us any support'

May insisted that "there is a very wide issue here" that can't be blamed on any particular government.

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

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