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Building materials helped spread Grenfell fire, US suit says

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Faulty building materials helped spread a devastating fire at London’s Grenfell Tower in 2017, turning the residential complex into a “flaming coffin” for the 72 people who died, according to a product liability suit filed Tuesday in the United States.

Nearly 250 survivors and families of victims joined the suit, which targets U.S. companies that made products used at the complex. The suit was filed in a state court in Philadelphia.

“This fire originated and spread because of decisions made in the United States by United States corporations that prioritized profits over safety,” said attorney Robert Mongeluzzi, who is known for winning huge legal awards over deadly construction accidents.

The lawsuit does not seek specific monetary damages. It would be up to a jury to decide how much money to award. Mongeluzzi expects it to take more than two years for the case to go to trial.

The Grenfell blaze started two years ago June 14 in an apartment refrigerator and raced up the side of the 24-story residential building. The building’s exterior cladding was made of highly flammable material that can’t be used in U.S. skyscrapers, the plaintiffs’ lawyers said.

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