Science

Deadly London tower blaze began in a Hotpoint fridge freezer, say police

Although the cooperation of organizations involved had been "excellent", McCormack confirmed the force had seized documents from some of them.

It added that there is "no specific reason" for people with one of these fridge-freezers to switch them off pending further investigation. "The initial tests on equivalent aluminum composite tiles failed the safety tests".

A fridge had been one theory behind what caused the blaze before Metropolitan Police announced its findings.

Hundreds of people are working on the complex investigation; while a full visual search was completed last week, McCormack said a "full fingertip search" and other painstaking methods will also be required.

"Preliminary tests on the insulation samples collected from Grenfell Tower showed that it combusted soon after the tests started", she said.

Both failed the safety tests, with the insulation proving "more flammable than the cladding".

The fire spread quickly through the tower block, leading to concerns that cladding on the building did not meet fire safety rules.

The police confirmed that the fire was started accidentally in the Hotpoint fridge-freezer. Tests will be carried out to establish whether a product recall is necessary, the government said.

She said the insulation proved "more flammable than the cladding" and investigators will now seek to establish whether the use of any of these materials was illegal in the UK.

Some 600 blocks are due to be tested to see if they pose a fire risk.

"Some of those calls are over an hour long and truly harrowing in their content", she added. The forensic and recovery work, she said, could continue into 2018. We will make sure we recover everything we can. We will examine the construction of the building, including the refurbishment.

Prime Minister Theresa May stressed on Thursday that all victims, regardless of their immigration status, would be able to access whatever help they need.

The block was refurbished by the same contractor as Grenfell Tower, construction company Rydon.

Hotpoint says in a statement that "words can not express our sorrow at this bad tragedy".

"I can confirm that the numbers that we have of presumed dead, confirmed dead, or missing still remains at 79, with 9 people being formally identified as dead", Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack said on Friday.

The company said 64,000 such fridge freezers were made by Indesit between 2006 and 2009 when the model was discontinued, some years before Whirlpool acquired Indesit. Under these circumstances, we are unable to speculate on further details at this time.

The company added that it was "addressing this as a matter of utmost urgency and assisting the authorities in any way we can".

In addition to the criminal investigation, police and firefighters are continuing painstaking efforts to locate the victims.



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