UK finds 34 high-rise apartment buildings with unsafe siding

Camden council representatives talk as they help residents as they are evacuated from the Burnham residential tower block on the Chalcots Estate in the borough of Camden north London Friday

Camden council representatives talk as they help residents as they are evacuated from the Burnham residential tower block on the Chalcots Estate in the borough of Camden north London Friday

Renovations are expected to take several weeks.

"We have now completed these checks, which confirm that all council tower blocks in Croydon continue to meet the standards set down by London Fire Brigade".

One building, Blashford Tower, was removed from the evacuation order because it is smaller than the other four blocks, the fire doors are different and the council has already cleared corridors to increase fire safety, according to the council, which serves a swath of central London from the British Museum to Hampstead Heath.

Many residents complained of a lack of information and confusion.

Renee Williams, 90, who has lived in Taplow tower since 1968, told Britain's Press Association: "No official came and told us what's going on, I saw it on the TV so I packed an overnight bag".

"I know it's hard, but Grenfell changes everything", Camden Council chief Georgia Gould told reporters outside a complex of buildings known as Chalcots Estate on Friday. Inspectors uncovered problems with "gas insulation and door stops", which combined with the presence of flammable cladding meant residents had to leave immediately, council leader Georgia Gould said in a tweet.

Stephen Tate, director of district centres and regeneration at Croydon Council, said: "They [the four tower blocks] were our priority and the results have stood as the same [as the other safe blocks]".

Some 27 high-rise residential blocks have failed fire safety tests because of the cladding used on them.

Six people who sustained injuries in June 14 Grenfell Tower blaze remain in hospital, with two in critical condition.

"It's unbelievable. I understand that it's for our safety but they can't just ask us to evacuate with such short notice".

Earlier Friday, police said they were considering filing manslaughter charges in the Grenfell disaster.

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"We are looking at every criminal offense from manslaughter onwards", Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack told reporters.

The statement read: "We have been made aware that the recent fire at Grenfell Tower in West London may have originated in a Hotpoint branded fridge freezer, manufactured between March 2006 and July 2009, model numbers FF175BP (white) and FF175BG (graphite)".

Hotpoint said Friday that "words can not express our sorrow at this awful tragedy" and added it was working with authorities to examine the appliance.

In the aftermath of the fire, Croydon Council launched its own review into fire safety at its council-owned tower blocks, the highest which is 12 storeys tall.

The government has called on all building owners, public and private, to submit samples of cladding material used on their buildings for testing.

Officials had said earlier that samples of cladding panels from 14 buildings in London, Manchester and Plymouth had been found to be combustible.

The cladding, Reynobond PE, was only intended for use in buildings shorter than firefighters' ladders in other European countries, but its United Kingdom guidelines stated only to refer to "local building codes".

That fire was found to have been spread by a type of exterior cladding also found on the buildings that were evacuated.

Police says 79 people are either dead or missing and presumed dead in the blaze, although that number may change. To encourage co-operation, Prime Minister Theresa May said the government won't penalize any fire survivors who were in the country illegally.

Labour has stepped up its attack on the Government over the tragedy, with shadow home secretary Diane Abbott claiming the victims died as "a direct outcome of Tory attitudes in social housing".

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