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Firms in 2017 London fire inquiry accept no blame for blaze

International
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LONDON (AP) — Firms involved in building work on London tower bloc that caught fire have sidestepped any responsibility for the 2017 tragedy that killed 72 people, a lawyer for the inquiry said.

As the second phase of an inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire opened Monday, the lawyer for the inquiry said that submissions from the firms involved in the building’s refurbishment have expressed “no trace” of responsibility for the catastrophic fire. Experts in the first phase of the inquiry concluded that the work failed to comply with building regulations.

“All core participants who played a material part in Grenfell Tower have laid out a detailed case that it relied on others, and how in no way was the work it did either substandard or non-compliant (with building regulations),” said Richard Millett, the lawyer for the inquiry. “In every case, what happened was, as each of them would have it, someone else’s fault.”

Millet did say the local council — the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea — was an exception in its submission.

“With that solitary exception … one finds in those detailed and carefully crafted statements no trace of any acceptance of any responsibility for what happened at Grenfell Tower,” he said.

The tragedy represented the greatest loss of life in a fire on British soil since World War II.

High-rise apartment towers are supposed to be designed to stop apartment fires spreading, but within minutes of starting, the flames raced up the outside of the 25-story tower like a lit fuse.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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