27 towers fail fire safety checks in Britain, hundreds evacuated

Posted June 25, 2017

"I know it's hard, but Grenfell changes everything and I just don't believe we can take any risk with our residents' safety and I have to put them first".

The council's leader, Gould, said it would take up to four weeks to fix the blocks that were evacuated and said that some 4,000 residents were affected.

The cladding has since failed all safety checks and prompted a nationwide review of the materials used on everything from hospitals to hotels and apartment blocks.

The residents of roughly 800 apartments in London have been evacuated due to fire-safety concerns.

The council has booked hotels across London and the works are expected to take up to four weeks. "With six children, where am I going at that time of the morning?"

"The Grenfell fire changes everything", Gould said.

Prime minister Theresa May, meanwhile, said on Saturday that the government would do "what is necessary" to ensure people would have somewhere to stay.

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That fire was found to have been spread by a type of exterior cladding also found on the buildings that were evacuated.

"It was farcical communication", 21-year-old Daniel Tackaberry told Reuters outside a nearby sports centre where the local council had laid out air beds for people for whom they could not find hotels. Others were being put up in hotels and other housing projects.

Some complained of confusion as the council first announced the evacuation of one building, then expanded it to five and later reduced it to four. Some residents said they learned about the evacuation from the television news hours before officials came knocking on doors.

"I don't know where we are going to go."One man in a suit said to me "you can't stay here tonight"."We have been living in these flats for the last 10 years with this cladding".

"There have been a couple of fires [at the estate] already but nothing has happened to the cladding, so I don't see why anything would happen now".

"I just think it's a complete overreaction", he told Sky News. "No they're not", she said. Carl McDowell, 31, said he took one look at the inflatable beds offered on the floor of the leisure center and went back to his own apartment.

The Liberal Democrats demanded the Government declare a civil emergency, create a fund to compensate those evacuated and guarantee anyone told to leave their properties they won't have to pay council tax until they return.

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The move comes as a vast operation is under way across the United Kingdom to identify buildings with cladding like that used on the Grenfell Tower fire in north Kensington where a fire killed at least 79 people.

The Metropolitan Police have said manslaughter, health and safety, and fire safety charges will be considered.

The outside cladding engulfed in June 14's deadly blaze has since been shown to fail all safety tests, police said.

In an update on the Grenfell investigation, Fiona McCormack from the London police said: "We are looking at every criminal offence from manslaughter onwards". McCormack said the Hotpoint model FF175BP refrigerator-freezer had not been subject to any product recalls before the fire.

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

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) later confirmed that the polyethylene filling between the two Reynobond aluminium panels did not pass building regulations for tower blocks over 59 feet and a flame retardant material should have been used instead. Landlords are being asked to check what the cladding on their buildings is made from.

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