Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

British leader seeks fire inquiry; German building evacuated


Her government has promised a public inquiry into what happened in addition to tests on some 600 buildings.

The removal comes as Jane Dunn, Sheffield City Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, admitted today that the cladding at Hanover Tower was not solid aluminium - as previously understood.

County Hall in Cork has similar cladding panels to those which were found on Grenfell Tower.

The PM's move came as samples of cladding from 95 buildings all failed safety tests introduced since the fire - a 100% failure rate.

Meanwhile, Britain's government says it is giving 1 million pounds ($1.27 million) to charities helping fire victims.

The preliminary survey of the use of cladding products on residential buildings over six storeys being undertaken by fire services in Dublin is to be extended to the rest of the country and to cover buildings in all categories over 18m in height.

But the Welsh Government's request to councils to conduct fire safety tests is voluntary.

Eckermann said it was unclear if the flammable material was similar to that used in the London building.

Inhabitants stand in front of a high-rise residential building in Wuppertal, Germany which was evacuated over fire safety fears in the wake of London's Grenfell Tower tragedy.

According to a joint statement from the council and the block's developer, Eastend Homes: "All measures recommended by the Fire Brigade are in place and in addition EastendHomes has immediately introduced further measures to meet DCLG recommendations and ensure the continued safety of residents".

The supplier of the material, a US-based firm called Arconic, said on Monday that it was stopping all sales of the material for tower apartment blocks.

A public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire, in which at least 79 people died, will look at why combustible cladding was put on so many tower blocks across the country. "I know that the will to positively contribute from professional bodies and others is strong and we will deploy this to support our work".

The insurance industry warned the British government of the dangers of flammable external surfaces on buildings a month before the Grenfell Tower fire.

Shares of the company fell as much as 11.3 per cent after it was reported last Saturday that it had supplied the cladding knowing it would be used at Grenfell Tower, despite warning in its brochures that those specific panels were a fire risk for tall buildings.

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