London police ponder manslaughter in tower fire

Marsha Scott
June 24, 2017

Last week, several residents of the estate told BBC London they were concerned about the cladding on the side of their buildings.

The removal of homeowners is to allow "urgent fire safety works" to take place, local council leader Georgia Gould said.

"We are working side-by-side with our housing groups and the London Fire Brigade and we remain ready to respond to any changes to national fire safety advice".

She said it is thought the work would take three to four weeks, adding: "We realise that this is hugely distressing for everyone affected and we will be doing all we can, alongside the London Fire Brigade and other authorities, to support our residents at this hard time".

The announcement came as it was revealed manslaughter charges are being considered by detectives investigating the blaze in the tower in west London, which had failed fire safety tests.

"Until the panels have all been removed, we will carry out 24/7 fire safety patrols on the estate's corridors to reassure residents and carry out enhanced fire safety checks".

"The government has ordered an immediate examination of the unit by technical experts to establish the cause of the incident,"he the UK's Department for Business said in a statement".

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The council is encouraging residents to stay with friends and family, but promised to provide temporary accommodations, if that weren't possible.

Tests are being carried out on cladding on about 600 high rises in England.

The overnight fire rapidly engulfed Grenfell Tower, with flames shooting up the outside of the building, raising concerns that the cladding material attached to the concrete block didn't comply with fire-safety rules.

The police report confirms the fire had not been started deliberately and manufacturers of the fridge-freezer which triggered the fire, Hotpoint, have been contacted. "They say they began testing the cladding the day after the Grenfell Tower". Samples from 14 buildings in London, Manchester and Plymouth have already been found to be combustible.

McCormack said the police investigation would look at the entire facade of the building, how the building was constructed and the refurbishment work.

"What we are being told at the moment by the Building Research Establishment is that the cladding and insulation failed all safety tests", she told reporters Friday.

While the death toll remains at 79, Ms McCormack addressed concerns that many more had died and were unaccounted for in official figures.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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