34 London tower blocks in 17 areas fail fire safety tests
Some 4,000 residents of the Chalcots Estate in Camden, north London, were told to vacate their apartments on Friday after the Fire Brigade ruled that their blocks were unsafe. Photograph: (Reuters)
Cladding on 34 high-rise blocks of apartments in 17 council areas in England have failed fire safety checks, the government said.
Earlier it was reported that 27 buildings had failed the safety test.
The fire safety checks were carried out after the deadly Grenfell Tower blaze on June 14 that left at least 79 people dead.
British officials have conducted tests on some 600 high-rise buildings across England.
Some 4,000 residents of the Chalcots Estate in Camden, north London, were told to vacate their apartments on Friday after the Fire Brigade ruled that their blocks were unsafe.
Camden council said it had no option but to move residents from 650 flats while work takes place.
Five tower blocks in Camden have exterior cladding and insulation similar to that used on Grenfell Tower, installed by the same contractor in 2006.
Prime Minister Theresa May, who was forced to apologise for the government's initial slow response to the tragedy, said the authorities were now racing to establish what needed to be done.
"In some cases it's possible to take mitigating action," she told Sky news. "In others it's been necessary for people to move out on a temporary basis and that is what happened in Camden last night."
Residents complained of first hearing about the evacuation from the media and getting very short notice to leave from city officials going door-to-door. Not all residents agreed to go, as they felt the evacuation was an overreaction.