UK: All building cladding samples tested failed fire safety

Georgina Gould, the leader of Camden Council, said on Sunday that residents still inside the 22-storey buildings on the Chalcots Estate "must leave".

While many people have been able to stay in their homes despite the fire risk, thousands of residents from 650 flats in north London were evacuated on Saturday.

LONDON (AP) - The list of high-rise apartment towers in Britain that have failed fire safety tests grew to 60, officials said Sunday, revealing the mounting challenge the government faces in the aftermath of London's Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

The cladding on the buildings in the Chalcots estate is similar to Grenfell Tower where the fire is feared to have killed at least 79 people. Some refused to leave.

From families with newborn babies to a Second World War veteran, residents of the Chalcots estate in Camden were ordered out of their homes after fire officers said they could not guarantee the safety of the buildings.

Experts warned the fire was spread by cladding panels which are fitted to countless buildings across Britain. A local London council.

"I know some residents are angry and upset, but I want to be very clear that Camden Council acted to protect them", council leader Georgia Gould said. "The Grenfell fire changes everything - we need to do everything we can to keep residents safe".

Work had been due to begin on stripping cladding from buildings on the Chalcots Estate, but Camden Council ordered the "decant" of residents on Friday evening.

This comes after Prime Minister Theresa May admitted again this week that the response to the West London inferno was not good enough, and apologised for the "local and national" failure of the authorities. Council workers guided dozens to a nearby gym, where they spent the night on inflatable mattresses. Others were being put up in hotels and other housing projects.

Many residents complained about a lack of information and confusion. Officials went door-to-door one at a time for safety reasons, starting at Taplow then working through Burnham, Bray, Blashford and Dorney.

"I know it's hard, but Grenfell changes everything and I just don't believe we can take any risk with our residents" safety and I have to put them first. "There's no organization and it's chaos", she added.

Ms Ikran was one of the few who were able to be taken to a hotel but she said she can not stay there without being able to feed her children - regardless of the £100 food and expenses allowance which has been allocated to each displaced family.

The manufacturer of the insulation used to clad Grenfell Tower said they would stop using the product on high-rise buildings.

"We are all scared, we are disrupted, we don't know how we are going to cope, cook, wash or anything at the moment".

Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack was speaking after it emerged police had seized documents and materials from a "number of organisations".

Refurbishment of the Chalcots towers was overseen by Rydon, the same company involved in the recent renovation of the now-devastated Grenfell Tower.

The Association of British Insurers and the government were not immediately available for comment.

The government also urged building owners, public and private, to submit samples of their cladding.