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Grenfell cladding tiles ‘fail’ safety tests

Grenfell Tower 3x2

Aluminium composite tiles that are equivalent to those on the Grenfell Tower have failed initial safety tests, according to the Metropolitan Police.

The statement from detective superintendent Fiona McCormack this morning did not disclose the nature of the tests and what constituted a failure.

“Our tests will look at each aspect individually as well as how they how all worked together as part of the building’s cladding,” she said.

“Preliminary tests show the insulation samples collected from Grenfell Tower combusted soon after the test started.

“The initial tests on equivalent aluminium composite tiles failed the safety tests.

“Such are the safety concerns with the outcome of these tests we have immediately shared the data with the Department for Communities and Local Government who are already sharing that information with local councils throughout the country.”

The composition of the tower’s cladding has been the subject of much media focus, although fire engineering professionals have said that such a specific focus could distort the bigger picture of how a building is deemed fire safe or not. The tragedy has led to calls for an overhaul of regulations.

McCormack added: “We will identify and investigate any criminal offence and, of course, given the deaths of so many people we are considering manslaughter, as well as criminal offences and breaches of legislation and regulations.”

The statement confirmed the fire started from a fridge freezer.

The police update follows yesterday’s announcement from Camden Council in London that it is to remove the cladding from five tower blocks on the Chalcots Estate following tests undertaken on the cladding by Building Research Establishment (BRE).

Camden Council leader Cllr Georgia Gould said: “The new results from the laboratory show that the outer cladding panels themselves are made up of aluminium panels with a polyethylene core.

“Therefore the panels that were fitted were not to the standard that we had commissioned. In light of this, we will be informing the contractor that we will be taking urgent legal advice.”

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