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"Concerning" that buildings are failing safety tests

26 June 2017

While many people have been able to stay in their homes despite the fire risk, thousands of residents from 650 flats in north London were evacuated on Saturday.

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

Britain said 27 high-rise apartment blocks had failed fire safety checks carried out after the deadly Grenfell Tower blaze, including several in north London where residents were forced to evacuate amid chaotic scenes late on Friday, Reuters reported. Camden Borough Council said in a statement Saturday that it housed numerous residents at two temporary shelters while many others were provided hotel rooms, after inspectors found fire safety issues in housing towers, following the inferno in a west London apartment block that killed 79.

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.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed all samples so far submitted have failed.

The Department for Communities and Local Government announced the failed tests as part of a nationwide initiative to identify buildings with similar building materials used to build Grenfell Tower, where a fire may have killed up to 79 people.

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A public inquiry is due to determine how the unsafe cladding was allowed to be fitted onto Grenfell and other buildings in the first place.

Camden Council said in a statement that the external cladding panels on the five blocks at the estate did not satisfy their independent laboratory testing and that they would immediately begin preparing to remove them.

It is believed that sub-standard cladding material used in a recent refurbishment contributed to the rapid spread of the fire.

Following the Grenfell Tower fire, local authorities across the United Kingdom have scrambled to identify other buildings that potentially have the same risk.

Amid rising tensions, residents remaining in the Taplow, Dorney, Bray and Burnham towers claimed they are being intimidated by security guards.

The towers were refurbished by Rydon - the same company involved in the multimillion pound refit of Grenfell Tower.

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Peter Bertram, 94, who served with the Royal Air Force in the second world war and has lived on the estate for 46 years said it felt bad to leave his home in Bray Tower.

"People have had to decide, you know, in a few minutes you know, all their possessions, what to do with them, what they might need, I don't know, for an indefinite period of time", said a woman.

The mayor said: "Look, you've got to err on the side of caution".

"All parts of the United Kingdom must learn from the disaster at Grenfell Tower and we must do all we can to ensure no-one has to experience the loss of a loved one in such tragic circumstances", Mr Doris said. "That is absolutely clear", he told Sky News.

Some 60 tower block residents spent a second night at the Swiss Cottage leisure centre.

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