Grenfell: 60 high-rises fail fire safety tests

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Sixty high-rise buildings in 25 local authorities have failed fire cladding safety tests carried out in the wake of the Grenfell blaze, the Government has said.

The figure amounts to a 100% failure rate as all buildings that were inspected have failed, according to the Department for Communities.

The number rose from 34 tower blocks in 17 local authorities – and hundreds more authorities have yet to be tested.

Officials are conducting inspections across the country after at least 79 people are believed to have been killed in the Grenfell Tower fire in London this month.

The tower’s cladding is widely blamed for spreading the blaze quickly up the building’s 24 storeys.

The Department identified fourteen areas where one or more buildings have failed the test, with 11 yet to be named.

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.

In London, five buildings were deemed unsafe in Camden; three in Barnet; two in Wandsworth; one each in Islington, Lambeth, Brent and Hounslow.

The Department for Communities said in a statement: “All landlords and fire and rescue services for these local authorities have been alerted to the results and we are in touch with all of them to support and monitor follow-up action.”

On Friday, authorities ordered the evacuation of four tower blocks in the Chalcots Estate in north London out of safety concerns – a move backed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

But some 200 residents from 120 homes are still refusing to leave, according to Camden Council leader Georgia Gould, and tensions were running high with some residents saying they had been intimidated by security guards.

Theresa May will chair a meeting of the newly established Grenfell Tower recovery task force on Monday. The meeting will include the Chancellor, Home Secretary and the Mayor of London.

The manufacturer of the insulation used to clad Grenfell Tower said they would stop using the product on high-rise buildings.

Celotex, which makes the RS5000 insulation boards in the tower’s rainscreen cladding, said no building over 18m tall would be fitted with the material.

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