Britain's government said local officials across the country Sunday should urgently submit samples of exterior panels from apartment towers after authorities found that all samples tested so far have failed fire safety standards. As of late Sunday, that includes 60 towers from 25 different areas of the country- double the figure given a day earlier. The national testing was ordered after a June 14 fire engulfed Grenfell Tower in London, killing at least 79 people.
The number of buildings at risk is likely to grow as owners and local officials provide more samples for safety tests.
Scores of people have refused to be evacuated from a north-west London apartment complex identified as a fire hazard, despite the insistence of emergency services that the safety of residents can not be guaranteed. They faced resistance as some 200 residents refused to budge.
The London Fire Brigade, which is also working to evacuate residents from an estate in north London found to have similar cladding to Grenfell, said it had been called on Saturday to a building in Bethnal Green, east London, where the third floor apartment and roof were on fire. The council said those issues, combined with the flammable cladding that encased the buildings, meant residents had to leave immediately.
So, as NPR's Frank Langfitt reports, "The council booked some hotel rooms and encouraged people to stay with family".
Now hundreds of residents face up to four weeks in temporary accommodations as workers try to upgrade the buildings' fire safety features.
He said he and other residents are determined to remain in their apartments until a legal notice is obtained or they are "dragged out by their fingernails".
Refurbishment of the Chalcots towers was overseen by Rydon, the same company involved in the recent renovation of the now-devastated Grenfell Tower.
Gould, the Camden council's leader, said it would take up to four weeks to fix the blocks that were evacuated.
Police investigating the cause of the 24-story Grenfell Tower blaze have said the fire started in a fridge but spread rapidly due to external cladding on the building, trapping residents in their beds as they slept.
"I know some residents are angry and upset, but I want to be very clear that Camden Council acted to protect them". "You don't get everyone to leave this quickly".
"In some cases it's possible to take mitigating action", she told Sky news.