Thousands Evacuated In London As More Buildings Fail Safety Tests

A tower block evacuation

The evacuation is to allow urgent safety work to take place

The new figure revealed by the government is double the 34 tower blocks found to be wrapped in cladding in the previous update given on Saturday.

Whilst the cladding met building regulations the fire service said it did not meet the latest Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) test criteria.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said testing of potentially combustible cladding "is running around the clock". It said about 650 apartments were evacuated, though initial reports put the figure at 800 apartments.

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.

It could take two to four weeks for the four blocks to be made safe, the council said, and Ms Gould added that almost 200 offers of accommodation have been made to displaced residents, most of which have been accepted.

The charred remains of Grenfell Tower. "We're encouraging all residents to stay with friends and family if they can, otherwise we'll provide accommodation.Specialist staff are on the ground to assist residents with care needs".

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Prime Minister Theresa May says "the government is supporting local authorities" testing their apartment blocks.

Mr Craggs said: "I can confirm that all of these panels are being removed from these buildings today". Council workers guided dozens to a nearby gym, where they spent the night on inflatable mattresses. The residents face weeks in temporary accommodations, HuffPost UK reports.

Many residents complained of a lack of information and confusion. Officials first announced the evacuation of one building, then expanded it to five before reducing it to four. We were told "There's nothing to worry about, you're not going to evacuate". I saw it on the TV, so I packed an overnight bag.

Police detective Fiona McCormack on Friday said all "complete bodies" had been removed from the wreckage and there was "a bad reality that we may not find or identify everyone who died due to the intense heat".

Mother-of-six Najmon Adam, who has lived in Bray for 12 years, said she would remain in her property until the council found accommodation in the borough for her family.

Shocked residents were ordered to leave their homes for up to three weeks while "urgent fire safety works" were carried out.

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All high-rise tower blocks tested across the United Kingdom so far for flammable material similar to the cladding related to the blaze at a 24-storey residential tower in London last week have failed their compulsory fire safety tests.

Detectives are considering manslaughter charges as part of the investigation into the disaster.

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James Belcher, head of planning at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: "We have been providing advice to Broadland Housing Association, Taylor Wimpey and the managing agents of adjacent blocks, and having reviewed their fire risk assessments, have agreed how the risk of a fire starting in these buildings could be reduced even further".

Since the role of the cladding in the intensity of the blaze has become clear, regulators and local authorities have faced intense pressure for their failure to restrict that type of material on high-rises and their decisions to use it in building projects across the country.

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