95 buildings fail fire-safety tests across England

The safety tests come after a fire in a London tower block killed at least 79 people earlier this month, leaving the government an uphill task to rehome people within the country's stretched social housing scheme.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The cladding was installed on the 24-storey council-owned Grenfell Tower, which was built in 1974, as part of a refurbishment completed last year.

Ninety-five buildings have failed safety tests introduced after at least 79 people were killed in a fire that ravaged a tower block in west London earlier this month, a spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday.

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

"Right now, we are at a position where 95 buildings in 32 local authority areas have now failed the tests and that remains a 100 percent failure rate," the spokesman told reporters.

"The prime minister said there would need to be a major national investigation into what had gone wrong when cladding which is failing the tests had been fitted on buildings across the country over a number of decades."

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

The insurance industry warned the British government of the dangers of flammable external surfaces on buildings a month before the Grenfell Tower fire.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said in a statement released after the tragedy that 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.

The British premier launched a public inquiry into the fire and police announced a criminal investigation after the incident.

TRTWorld and agencies