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Grenfell Tower: Cladding And Insulation Used In 82 Tower Blocks Fails New Tests

'Not fit for purpose.'

29/07/2017 5:04 PM AEST | Updated 29/07/2017 5:04 PM AEST

A total of 82 high-rises use a cladding system that has failed intense new fire safety tests in the wake of the Grenfell Tower blaze, the Government has confirmed.

Unlike previous tests, these ones did not only analyse different types of cladding but looked at them in combination with the insulation used at Grenfell, where at least 80 people died in the fire last month.

Witnesses to the blaze said the cladding allowed the fire to spread as far and fast as it did.

The Government ordered an independent review into building regulations and fire safety as it released the details of the latest tests on Friday.

Nine of the towers that failed are in Salford, the only ones that belong to local government, the Local Government Association said.

The rest belong to housing associations, private and other landlords.

The rest of the blocks that have failed have not been identified.

Christopher Furlong via Getty Images
<strong>Workers remove cladding for testing from one of the tower blocks in Salford</strong>

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: "It's clear we need to urgently look at building regulations and fire safety.

"This independent review will ensure we can swiftly make any necessary improvements. Government is determined to make sure that we learn the lessons from the Grenfell Tower fire, and to ensure nothing like it can happen again."

Lord Peter, chair of the Local Government Association said: "While councils are getting on with doing what they need to do, significant concerns remain about the financial implications.

"The Government needs to commit to meeting exceptional costs for councils arising from any major remedial work, such as the removal and replacement of cladding system.

He added: "It is clear that the tragedy at Grenfell Tower has exposed a systemic failure of the current system of building regulation.

"With test fails on buildings owned by a range of landlords across the country, we are pleased the Government has accepted our call to begin an urgent and immediate review of building regulations."

The review will look at fire regulations around the design, construction and management of buildings as well as their enforcement.

Before the tests results were published, it was reported that as many as 70 blocks were affected in total, with nine buildings in Salford believed to be the only Government-owned buildings impacted.

Lord Porter told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme current building regulations were "not fit for purpose".

Grenfell Tower, in north Kensington, west London, was reported by eyewitnesses to have set alight "like a tinder box" on 14 June.

The role of a newly-installed cladding system, which included panels of insulation, is likely to become the focus of a public inquiry.

The Metropolitan Police said last night that Kensington Council may face corporate manslaughter charges over the incident.

Neil Hall / Reuters
<strong>Kensington&nbsp;Council leader Elizabeth Campbell has said survivors 'deserve answers'</strong>

Council leader Elizabeth Campbell told Sky News that survivors "deserved answers" and pledged the council would support the police investigation "in every way we can."

A Met spokesman said: "The Met started an investigation into the cause and spread of the fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June.

"Since then we have stated that it is a criminal investigation, considering the full range of offences from corporate manslaughter to regulatory breaches.

"This is a complex and far reaching investigation that by its very nature will take a considerable time to complete.

"The Met has made a commitment to the families who lost loved ones in the fire and survivors that they will be kept updated, as far as we possibly can, as the investigation continues.

"As is routine, we will not give a running commentary on this investigation."

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