London fire: 600 buildings have similar cladding

Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building on Wednesday morning, Saturday, June 17, 2017. Public fury over the London high-rise fire is mounting as exhausted London firefighters continue their grim search Saturday for victims of the inferno that killed at least 30 people. (David Mirzoeff/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May’s office says that around 600 buildings in England have cladding similar to the type blamed for the quick spread of flames in the London high-rise disaster.

Councils in England made the estimate as authorities desperately try to get a grip on the scale of the issue facing local authorities following the blaze at Grenfell Tower that killed at least 79 people on June 14.

The cladding on the building has been singled out for scrutiny because the blaze engulfed the building in less than an hour. That has surprised fire officials, who have wondered aloud how a 24-story building could become an inferno so quickly.

May has also announced that the investigation into whether the tower met fire safety regulations will be published in the next 48 hours.

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