27 towers fail fire safety checks in Britain, hundreds evacuated

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EARLIER: Some 34 high-rise buildings in 17 local authorities across the country have failed fire cladding safety tests after the Grenfell Tower disaster, the Government has said.

Mr Sharma was asked at least five times whether the cladding was illegal or banned, telling viewers "from what we've seen it would suggest that the material used was combustible".

Separately, cladding is to be removed from nine tower blocks in Salford while two buildings in the town of Bootle also had cladding that failed tests.

Jo Miller, chief executive at Doncaster Council, said: "Although we have not been advised that this decorative capping detail should be removed, we have made a decision to remove it as a precautionary measure to reflect that the health and safety of residents is our main priority".

The fire is believed to have spread due to flammable cladding on the outside of the building which was created to provide insulation and improve the look of the 24 storey tower.

Camden Council leader Georgia Gould told Sky News she was planning to knock on doors herself in a bid to persuade those remaining residents to take up the offer of alternative accommodation.

Refurbishment on the Chalcots estate in Camden was overseen by Rydon, the company involved in the refit of Grenfell Tower, according to the Rydon website.

"In the case of Camden, what happened was apart from the cladding there were other fire safety checks which failed and that is why people had to be evacuated".

Now hundreds of residents face up to four weeks in temporary accommodations as workers try to upgrade the buildings' fire safety features.

People were told to leave as darkness began to fall, with some taking belongings in suitcases and carrier bags, and some locals saying they only learned of the evacuation as they watched the news.

On Friday, authorities ordered the evacuation of four tower blocks in the Chalcots Estate in north London out of safety concerns - a move backed by Sadiq Khan.

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

The Government has promised that testing will be carried out as quickly as possible.

Five tower blocks in Camden have exterior cladding and insulation similar to that used on Grenfell Tower, installed by the same contractor in 2006.

The Government has said it is not identifying the other areas until residents have been notified, so as not to cause undue concern.

"I know some residents are angry and upset, but I want to be very clear that Camden Council acted to protect them".

"As a precautionary measure to ensure the continued safety of our tenants, One Vision Housing have taken the decision to remove the cladding from the two blocks with immediate effect, to allow for further investigations", it added.

Council leader Ravi Govindia said: "Having had the results back from the Government laboratories to show that the cladding is not sufficiently fire resistant we are now arranging for its urgent removal".