Government confirms flammable cladding on 11 blocks

23 Jun 17

Eleven high-rise towers in eight local authority areas have been found to be covered with flammable cladding, the government has confirmed.

This comes as the police have announced they are considering manslaughter charges against those organisations involved in the Grenfell Tower fire.

Fiona McCormack, Metropolitan police detective superintendent, said: “We are looking at every criminal offence from manslaughter onwards, we are looking at every health and safety and fire safety offence and we are reviewing every company at the moment involved in the building and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.” 

The police have also revealed insulation and tiles on the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea block failed safety tests, as samples caught fire very quickly in laboratory tests.

They confirmed the fatal fire, which killed at least 79 people, started in a faulty fridge.

In a letter to MPs yesterday communities secretary Sajid Javid said urgent tests are being conducted at the rate of about 100 samples a day.

“So far we have had samples from 11 high rise buildings in eight local authority areas where the cladding has failed the test,” he said.

“All landlords and fire and rescue services for those local authorities have been alerted to the results and we are in touch with all these areas to support and monitor follow-up action.”

He revealed some of the buildings with 'combustible' cladding similar to that used on Grenfell Tower have been found in Camden, Plymouth and Manchester.

Camden Council also confirmed yesterday it would remove cladding from five tower blocks on the Chalcots Estate after tests proved that the cladding did not meet the council’s standards.

In a statement Georgia Gould, leader of Camden Council, said: “The new results from the laboratory show that the outer cladding panels themselves are made up of aluminium panels with a polyethylene core.

“Therefore the panels that were fitted were not to the standard that we had commissioned. In light of this, we will be informing the contractor that we will be taking urgent legal advice.”

Gould said the council has begun the process of removing the panels and they have initiated 24/7 fire safety patrols to reassure residents.

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