Combustible cladding in 600 towers

At least 600 buildings in the UK are fitted with combustible cladding, the UK government says. Last week, a fire at London tower block Grenfell Tower, which many believe was spread by cladding catching fire, killed scores of people.

LONDON • An estimated 600 high-rise buildings in England contain cladding similar to that used on a London tower block which caught fire, killing at least 79 people, officials said yesterday.

Flames spread rapidly up the 24-storey Grenfell Tower last week and exterior cladding added during a refurbishment may have played a part, residents have said. The government ordered urgent checks of other tower blocks.

"The estimate provided to us by councils is that there are approximately 600 high-rise buildings with similar cladding," a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May told reporters.

Further testing would be conducted to ensure the buildings were safe, the spokesman said, adding people would be rehoused if necessary.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2017, with the headline 'Combustible cladding in 600 towers'. Print Edition | Subscribe