LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the response to deadly tower-block fire in London that killed at least 79 people (all times local):
Britain’s government says the list of high-rise apartment towers fitted with external cladding that failed fire safety tests has grown to 60. The buildings are spread across 25 areas around the country.
Sunday’s announcement came as samples of exterior panels fitted to high-rise apartments are being tested to see if they are similar to those at London’s Grenfell Tower, which was engulfed in an inferno that killed at least 79 people on June 14.
Combustible cladding was blamed for the rapid spread of that blaze.
The samples that failed safety tests came from buildings all over England, from London to cities that included Norwich, Doncaster, Manchester and Plymouth.
Hundreds of northwest London residents face up to four weeks in temporary accommodations as workers upgrade the fire safety features in four public apartment buildings.
Around 20 families who have been ordered evacuated want to stay put, but Camden Council leader Georgia Gould says they must leave for the renovations to begin.
Sayed Meah, who lives with his mother and wife, said he would not move until the company that helps care for his mother agrees to provide service at a new location.
He says he and other residents are determined to remain in their apartments until a legal notice is obtained or they are “dragged out by their fingernails.”
The four Chalcots Estate towers have similar exterior panels to the ones that are thought to have contributed to the inferno that killed at least 79 people at a 24-story London high-rise on June 14.
was overseen by Rydon, the same company involved in the recent renovation of the now-devastated Grenfell Tower.
Britain’s government is urging local officials across the country to submit samples of tower block cladding “as a matter of urgency” after tests found that all cladding samples so far have failed fire safety tests.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said all 34 samples tested didn’t meet fire safety standards. The national testing was ordered after a June 14 fire engulfed Grenfell Tower in London, killing at least 79 people.
A public inquiry has been ordered to determine how the unsafe cladding was allowed to be fitted in the first place.
Officials at Camden Council in north London have evacuated hundreds of apartments in four tower blocks as a precaution after fire inspectors concluded that they were unsafe. They say about a dozen families still remaining in their apartments must leave.
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.
In northwest London, Camden Council ordered residents at four buildings that are part of a tower block known as Chalcots Estate to leave some 600 apartments late Friday as a precaution after fire inspectors found problems with the blocks’ fire doors and gas pipes.
The council said residents must leave immediately because of those issues and because the towers were encased in similar cladding to the material used at Grenfell Tower.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan backed the Camden Council’s decision to evacuate the apartment blocks.
“I think they’ve done the right thing. Look, you’ve got to err on the side of caution. You can’t play Russian roulette with people’s safety,” Khan told Sky News.
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