London, June 19 (IANS) Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer said he believed the flammable cladding used at a fire-ravaged tower block in west London was banned in the country.
Philip Hammond of the Conservative Party, said in a BBC interview on Sunday that he understood the cladding to be banned in Europe, the US and Britain, Efe news reported.
“My understanding is that the cladding in question, this flammable cladding which is banned in Europe and the US, is also banned here,” said Hammond. “That’s my understanding.”
Asked why the cladding was used, Hammond replied: “There are two separate questions. One is, are our regulations correct? Do they permit the right kind of materials and ban the wrong kind of materials?”
“Second question is; were they correctly complied with? And obviously, that will be a subject that the inquiry will look at,” he added. “It will also be a subject that the separate criminal investigation will be looking at.”
The blaze that erupted Wednesday at Grenfell Tower — a 24-floor highrise building in North Kensington hosting between 400-600 families — resulted in at least 30 confirmed deaths.
According to the London Metropolitan Police, at least 28 residents were still missing and presumed dead, while 74 were injured, 24 of which still remained hospitalized (half of them in critical care).
An investigation by The Guardian found that the cladding covering Grenfell Tower was the cheaper and more flammable option, costing 2 pounds ($2.56) less per sq. m. than the fire-resistant version.