27 towers fail fire safety checks in Britain, hundreds evacuated

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Camden Council leader Georgia Gould said London Fire Brigade inspecting officers had identified concerns over the combination of external cladding, fire doors, gas pipes and insulation at the Chalcots Estate.

A young person looks out from inside the Dorney block, part of the Chalcots Estate in the borough of Camden, north London, Saturday June 24, 2017, after the local council evacuated some 650 homes overnight.

Brennan Bank tower block in Norwich, which has failed a cladding fire safety test in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Islington, Lambeth and Wandsworth joined Barnet, Brent, Camden and Hounslow on the growing list of London boroughs, while 11 other areas are yet to be named.

A resident with belongings leaves Burnham Tower residential block on the Chalcots Estate in north London. "You can't play Russian roulette with people's safety", Khan told Sky News.

Over 100 people were evacuated late on Friday from buildings in Camden.

Camden Council leader Georgia Gould said it made a decision to evacuate four blocks in north London's Chalcots Estate late Friday after fire inspectors uncovered problems with "gas insulation and door stops", which, combined with the presence of flammable cladding encasing the buildings, meant residents had to leave immediately.

"We have more staff coming on duty today to support residents and help them into temporary accommodation and support their immediate needs". Many were directed to inflatable beds laid out on the floor of the local sports hall.

Camden Council leader Georgia Gould said officials would visit residents still in their homes, as they required them to leave the blocks before work on making the buildings safe could begin.

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"While the difference in the cladding system at Granville Road mitigates the fire risk, we are not prepared to take any chances with the safety of residents". "These kids have school here and they want to put us somewhere", another resident said.

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.

The council has also organised an Eid feast in the Swiss Cottage community centre, with food, entertainment and a children's creche celebrating the end of Ramadan, for anyone affected by the Chalcots evacuation. "You don't get everyone to leave this quickly".

Britain's government says the list of high-rise apartment towers fitted with external cladding that failed fire safety tests has grown to 60. Attention has focused on the 24-story tower's external cladding material, which has been blamed for the rapid spread of that blaze.

Some 34 high-rise buildings in 17 local authorities in England have already failed urgent fire tests conducted after Grenfell, the government announced Saturday, raising fears that thousands more may need to leave their homes.

Fiona McCormack from the London police said that tiles and insulation on the outside of the building "don't pass any safety tests".

So far, Camden Council remains the only local authority known to have asked residents to leave as a fire precaution.

The fire has become a flashpoint for public anger at the record of May's Conservative Party in government following cuts to local authority budgets created to lower the national deficit.

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