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Dozens of UK towers fail fire safety tests

Monday, June 26, 2017 - 01:47

Sixty high-rise buildings have failed safety tests carried out after a fire killed at least 79 people in London earlier this month. Julian Satterthwaite reports.

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Sixty high-rise buildings in England have now failed fire safety tests. Six-hundred are being examined across the country, with failures already recorded in 25 areas. The British government ordered the tests in the wake of the Grenfell tower block fire that killed at least 79 people in London earlier this month. Police say the fatal blaze began in a fridge-freezer unit but spread rapidly due to the external cladding on the building. That has since failed all safety tests. And prompted a nationwide review of the materials used on everything from apartment buildings to hospitals and hotels. Several tower blocks in north London have already been evacuated as a result. On Friday (June 23), some four-thousand residents on the Chalcots Estate were given just hours to pack their bags, and leave. But some of them are refusing to go (SOUNDBITE) (English) RESIDENT OF EVACUATED TOWER, ROGER EVANS, SAYING: "I have lived here for three years, the building was presumably safe enough to live in then, nothing has fundamentally changed to the building in the last few days so it's still safe now." The decision to evacuate residents has been supported by top political figures, including Prime Minister Theresa May. She was forced to apologise for the government's initially slow response to the Grenfell tragedy. And says authorities are now racing to establish what needs to be done. The insurance industry saying it warned ministers of the dangers of flammable cladding in May. Stating it had been calling for a review of building fire-safety regulations since 2009. The BBC reporting Labour's John McDonnell claims victims were quote "murdered" by "political decisions." Police are considering manslaughter charges over the blaze.

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Dozens of UK towers fail fire safety tests

Monday, June 26, 2017 - 01:47