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Banned building materials suspected in London fire

A fireman looked out Sunday from the remains of London’s Grenfell Tower.

WILL OLIVER/european pressphoto agency

A fireman looked out Sunday from the remains of London’s Grenfell Tower.

LONDON — The new exterior cladding used in a renovation on London’s Grenfell Tower may have been banned under UK building regulations, two British ministers said Sunday as police continued their criminal investigation into the inferno that killed at least 58 people.

Trade Minister Greg Hands said the government is carrying out an ‘‘urgent inspection’’ of the roughly 2,500 similar tower blocks across Britain to assess their safety.

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Experts believe the cladding, which contained insulation, helped spread the flames quickly up the outside of the public housing tower early Wednesday morning. Some said they had never seen a building fire advance so quickly.

The 24-story tower that once housed up to 600 people in 120 apartments is now a charred ruin.

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Hands and Treasury chief Philip Hammond said in separate TV appearances that the cladding used on Grenfell seems to be prohibited by British regulations.

Associated Press

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