60 high-rise buildings fail safety tests so far after London fire

As fire safety tests continue across England of some 600 buildings in the wake of the Grenfell blaze, at least 60 have already failed. The insurance industry says it warned the government of fire dangers a month before the London inferno.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The fire at Grenfell Tower killed at least 79 people in London earlier this month.

Sixty high-rise buildings have failed safety tests carried out after a fire killed at least 79 people in London earlier this month, the British government said on Sunday.

British officials are conducting tests on some 600 high-rise buildings across England after fire ravaged the Grenfell Tower block in west London on June 14, prompting public anger over the Conservative government's budget cuts.

On Friday, some 4,000 residents were forced to evacuate their homes in north London after the fire brigade ruled their blocks were unsafe.

The Department for Communities said in a statement that 60 high-rise buildings across 25 local authority areas had failed the tests.

Insurance industry warned government of risks

The insurance industry warned the British government of the dangers of flammable external surfaces on buildings a month before the Grenfell Tower fire that killed at least 79 people.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said in a statement on Sunday it had been calling on the government to review building fire-safety regulations since 2009 and warned in May that combustible external cladding on high-rises could cause fire to spread.