UK finds 34 high-rise apartment buildings with unsafe siding

Kristopher Drake
June 26, 2017

Roger Evans, 51, who said he found out that his building was being cleared after a friend saw it on the news and alerted him by text, told the Press Association: "As far as I am concerned, nothing in that building has changed in the last few days, weeks, months or years". Public attention has focused on the external cladding material blamed for the rapid spread of that blaze - but now it appeared that multiple other fire risks have been identified in some blocks.

But some residents of the Camden buildings, collectively known as Chalcots Estate, expressed frustration with the lack of information they received about the evacuations.

"I am so stressed - why were hotels not looked at before we were evacuated?".

Camden council representatives talk as they help residents as they are evacuated from the Burnham residential tower block on the Chalcots Estate, in the borough of Camden, north London, Friday, June 23, 2017.

British Prime Minister Theresa May offered a message of sympathy to the affected residents, taking to Twitter to pledge she would work with relevant authorities to offer support.

Ms Gould said Camden Council has committed £100,000 of funds to pay for food, refreshments and other essential items which displaced residents need.

She's now in talks with a member from the council regarding temporary accommodation.

Britain's fire-safety crisis expanded substantially Saturday as authorities revealed that 27 high-rise apartment blocks across the country have cladding that failed fire safety tests.

Urgent testing is being conducted on external siding panels on apartment blocks following the deadly June 14 blaze that engulfed Grenfell Tower, killing at least 79 people.

People were told to leave as darkness began to fall, with some taking belongings in suitcases and carrier bags, and some locals saying they only learned of the evacuation as they watched the news.

But fire-safety experts have said the Grenfell disaster was probably due to a string of failures, not just the cladding.

The Metropolitan Police also said cladding attached to the 24-story public housing project during a recent renovation failed safety tests conducted by investigators, and that they have seized documents from a number of organizations.

"Of these 39 council tower blocks, 16 have cladding that independent checks confirmed this week to be good-quality, fire-retardant and containing different materials to the kind used at Grenfell Tower". "We are looking at all health and safety and fire safety offenses, and we are reviewing every company at the moment involved in the building and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower". McCormack said the Hotpoint model FF175BP refrigerator-freezer had not been subject to any product recalls.

Hotpoint said it was working with authorities to examine the appliance, adding "words can not express our sorrow at this awful tragedy".

Camden Council said it will remove external thermal cladding from five tower blocks on the Chalcots estate.

May added that the government is working with local authorities across the country to address fire safety fears about apartment towers.

Officials had said earlier that samples of cladding panels from 14 buildings in London, Manchester and Plymouth had been found to be combustible. At least one hotel chain is calling in experts to make certain its properties meet safety regulations.

A total of 79 people are feared dead after the blaze destroyed 151 homes in the Kensington tower block.

Labour has stepped up its attack on the Government over the tragedy, with shadow home secretary Diane Abbott claiming the victims died as "a direct effect of Tory attitudes in social housing".

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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