London apartments evacuated over fire fears

The Latest UK update 27 high-rises have dangerous cladding

The Latest UK update 27 high-rises have dangerous cladding

Council leader Georgia Gould said earlier that the decision to evacuate five tower blocks on the estate - Taplow, Burnham, Bray, Blashford and Dorney - was made at around 6.30pm on Friday. Camden council ordered the evacuation after tests by London Fire Brigade on Friday raised further concerns over external gas pipes and internal fire doors.

Britain's fire-safety crisis expanded substantially Saturday as authorities said 34 high-rise apartment blocks across the country had cladding that failed fire safety tests. Some refused to leave. Scores of evacuees slept on inflatable beds in a nearby gym while officials sought better accommodations for them.

Public safety concerns have been prompted by exterior cladding known as aluminum composite panels, which are believed to have rapidly spread the fire at Grenfell Tower on June 14, trapping residents in their homes before firefighters could save them.

"We are in touch with all the local authorities to encourage them to urgently send us the samples and then we will carry out the checks that we need to see where we are with that", she said.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has urged local authorities and housing associations to continue submitting samples of cladding "as a matter of urgency".

"Obviously, those residents in Camden who had to be asked to leave their homes at such short notice have had a distressing experience". It said about 650 apartments were evacuated, though initial reports put the figure at 800 apartments.

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"I offered to pay for fire stations to be stationed outside all of those blocks so we could have a couple of days to get the work done but the message there was absolutely nothing I could do to make those blocks safe that night".

"I know some residents are angry and upset, but I want to be very clear that Camden Council acted to protect them", Gould said in a statement.

A Croydon Council spokeswoman said: "Last week Croydon Council launched a review double checking fire safety in its 39 tower blocks".

Mrs May said the Government was working with those in the Kensington and Chelsea area to ensure people who lost their homes following the blaze at Grenfell Tower were rehoused within three weeks and provided with financial support.

But in the statement he stressed "cladding itself is not dangerous" and that a failure in testing does not necessarily mean a building will be evacuated. He said officials knocked on residents' doors Friday night, two hours after he had heard about the evacuation on the news. I saw it on the TV, so I packed an overnight bag.

Waiting for a minibus to take her family to a hotel six miles away, Zega Ghebre, 42, said the situation was "unbelievable".

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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.

Until the sprinklers can be fitted, the council is to "step up fire safety measures" at two high rise blocks in the borough which have been fitted with the unsafe type of external cladding used at Glenfell Tower.

British police have said they are considering bringing manslaughter charges over the Grenfell fire. Fiona McCormack from the London police said that tiles and insulation on the outside of the building "don't pass any safety tests".

Authorities in London evacuated roughly 650 apartments in a high-rise complex overnight, citing fears that the complex bore numerous safety issues that Grenfell Tower did.

McCormack said police were investigating companies involved in the building and refurbishment of the tower, and possible "health and safety and fire safety offences".

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