Cladding on 120 tower blocks failed safety tests, says Theresa May
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May. Pic/AFP
British Prime Minister Theresa May said that cladding on over 100 high-rise buildings had failed fire safety tests. May on Wednesday made her comments as part of the weekly session of the government's question time in Parliament, Efe news reported.
"As of this morning, the cladding from 120 tower blocks across the country, in 37 local authority areas had been tested, and had failed the combustibility test," May said. The buildings underwent safety tests in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in west London, which left 79 people dead or missing when the 24-floor residential building was ravaged by a blaze.
In her debut question time appearance since the general election of June 8, May urged local authorities to carry out safety checks on buildings that they own. "Given the 100-per cent failure rate," May said, local authorities and housing associations "should not wait for test results," but should get on with fire safety checks and take necessary action.
The Conservative leader the day before called for a national investigation into the use of flammable materials in the cladding used on public housing blocks in Britian. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, for his part, pointed out cuts in the number of firefighters across the country and said the Grenfell fire had exposed "the disastrous effects of austerity".
"I urge the Prime Minister to come up with the resources needed to test and remove cladding," Corbyn said. London's Metropolitan Police confirmed that the Grenfell blaze that began early on June 14 started "in a fridge freezer", before rapidly spreading to the other floors. In recent days, residents of similar tower blocks in London have been moved to alternative accommodation over safety concerns.