Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Grenfell Tower response: 60 high-rise blocks fail fire safety tests

Grenfell Tower response: 60 high-rise blocks fail fire safety tests

The fire rapidly spread through the outside of the building as panel after panel of the aluminum cladding covering the building caught flames.

Grenfell Tower underwent a massive renovation just previous year that residents were told was to improve fire safety in the building.

The number rose from 34 tower blocks across 17 local authorities.

Test results on building materials in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster have revealed that 60 high-rise blocks in 25 areas of England are unsafe, the British government confirmed. Additionally, Islington, Lambeth, and Wandsworth joined Barnet, Brent, Camden, and Hounslow are also on the growing list, with 11 other areas yet to be named to the 60 areas.

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Five buildings failed the test in Sunderland; four in Manchester; three in Plymouth; three in Stockton-on-Tees; two in Portsmouth; one each in Doncaster and Norwich. Tower blocks housing thousands of people across England are being urgently tested to check if their outer coverings pose a serious fire risk following the Grenfell Tower disaster, with almost a dozen already testing positive for combustible material.

Stephen Ledbetter, former director of the Centre for Window and Cladding Technology, said it would cost around £1.2m to re-clad a tower block the size of Grenfell.

But 200 Chalcots Estate tenants who refused to go were "delaying work to make the homes safe", according to Camden council leader Georgia Gould.

Ms Ikran was one of the few who were able to be taken to a hotel but she said she can not stay there without being able to feed her children - regardless of the £100 food and expenses allowance which has been allocated to each displaced family. "But I don't know nothing, no one's really told us what's going on", one resident said.

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Communities Secretary Sajid Javid urged local authorities and housing associations to continue to submit samples "as a matter of urgency" amid a nationwide safety operation launched after at least 79 people died when fire ripped through Grenfell Tower in north Kensington on June 14.

On Friday night about 4,000 people were moved out of high-rises in north London fitted with the same cladding as that involved in the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Meanwhile, London mayor Sadiq Khan backed the Labour-led council's decision to evacuate the four high-rise blocks on the Chalcots Estate, saying: "You can't play Russian roulette with people's safety". Look, you've got to err on the side of caution.

"They should act now, get the fire service in, check the buildings that they think may be affected, put in place mitigation measures if required, or, as in the case of Camden, if they need to evacuate, that needs to happen". "That is absolutely clear", he told Sky News.

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