Hundreds evacuated from London high-rises as Grenfell Tower fire fallout widens

by Dwayne Torres June 25, 2017, 1:07
Hundreds evacuated from London high-rises as Grenfell Tower fire fallout widens

She said: "The Government is working with those local authorities affected by this issue to ensure that they're able to do what is necessary on the ground to reassure people about the safety of their blocks, if necessary to evacuate people, and take action to make those tower blocks safe".

While fire officials believe it sparked from a refrigerator on the fourth floor, the cladding may have enabled it to race up the side of the building within minutes, stranding everyone inside.

Work had been due to begin on stripping cladding from buildings on the Chalcots Estate, but Camden Council ordered the "decant" of residents on Friday evening.

An in-depth look at the causes of the Grenfell Tower blaze by the New York Times detailed how in the United Kingdom, a "drive by successive governments from both major political parties to free businesses from the burden of safety regulations" allowed the tower's owners to swaddle the outside of the building in a highly flammable aluminum and polyethylene cladding.

"People are very concerned - I've spent most of the day visiting residents around my constituency particularly where there are concerns about cladding". Others were being put up in hotels and other housing projects. A local London council has chose to evacuate some 800 households in apartment buildings it owns because of safety concerns following the devastating fire that killed 79 people in a west London high-rise.

The Department for Communities said dozens had failed the tests, from London in the southeast to Manchester in the north and Plymouth on the southwest coast.

Gould said the fire service "told us they could not guarantee our residents' safety in those blocks".

The cladding was installed on the 24-storey council-owned Grenfell Tower, which was built in 1974, as part of a refurbishment completed previous year.

The British government said Saturday that 27 high-rise blocks in the country failed cladding safety tests, the Press Association news agency reported.

She said that if people still choose not to leave their homes then it would "become a matter for the fire services".

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Several local councils said they were removing cladding from the facades of buildings that had failed the tests.

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

Police said Friday they are considering filing manslaughter charges in the Grenfell disaster and they were conducting a wide-ranging investigation that will look at everything that contributed to it.

"We are looking at every criminal offence from manslaughter onwards", Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack said.

Chalcots was refurbished between 2006 and 2009 by the same firm, Rydon, that oversaw work at Grenfell Tower in 2015-16.

The government has called on all building owners, public and private, to submit samples of cladding material used on their buildings for testing. At least one hotel chain is calling in experts to make certain its properties meet safety regulations.

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

Police says 79 people are either dead or missing and presumed dead in the blaze, although that number may change.

"We want to identify all those who died as result of the fire at Grenfell Tower, and that is where I need the public's help", McCormack said.

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 outcome of Tory attitudes in social housing".


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