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tv   BBC News  BBC News  June 23, 2017 11:00pm-11:16pm BST

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martine croxall. the headlines at 11pm. around 4000 people have been evacuated from five tower blocks on a camden council estate following news they have similar cladding to that in grenfell tower. i know it is difficult, but grenfell tower changed everything, and they do believe we can take any risk with oui’ do believe we can take any risk with our residents‘ safety, and i have to put them first. bewildered residents are told to head for a nearby leisure centre — some aren‘t happy with the council‘s decision. it‘s a kneejerk reaction from the council, they had to be seen to be doing something, but this is just creating chaos and pandemonium. in the grenfell tower investigation, police say the cladding and insulation there has failed safety tests, and manslaughter charges may follow. theresa may in brussels where she‘s told her offerfor eu citizens in the uk falls ‘below expectations‘. a former loyalist turned supergrass admits to offences including five
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murders. good evening and welcome to bbc news. a mass evacuation is under way tonight of nearly 4000 people from 800 households in tower blocks in north london. camden council says it took the decision after it was told by fire services that the cladding on the blocks is not up to standard and the safety of the residents can‘t be guaranteed. the police have revealed that the cladding and insulation on grenfell tower has failed initial fire safety tests. they say they are now looking at criminal offences including manslaughter. at least 79 people are known to be dead or missing after the blaze at the tower block last week. tom symonds has more. there was no warning, just a request. we need you to move out because we can‘t be sure
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you are safe. i just don‘t want to go now. i feel bad to just suddenly i have to leave my flat. tonight, camden council‘s mobilising its staff, block booking hotels, opening a rest centre in an attempt to find somewhere to sleep, for 4000 people. individuals have been told to leave for their own safety and it‘s down to them to make the decision. i intend to stay put. i intend to go there tonight. it's a knee jerk reaction by the council, they had to be seen to be doing something but this is creating chaos and pandemonium. in the aftermath of the grenfell tower the cladding on these towers had already been ruled unsafe, but on top of that residents raised concerns about other issues, including fire doors and gas pipes. camden felt it had to act. any area which wasn‘t completely up to robust standards was a deep concern, given the combination, and that was the message from the fire services today. the issue was the combination of the two factors and that‘s why
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we‘ve taken the action we‘ve taken the night. the shadow of the worst fire in decades now looms large over social housing. grenfell tower was destroyed from the to the top. the fire started in a kitchen on the lower floor. now police have confirmed what eyewitnesses said, the origin of the inferno was a hotpoint fridge, like this one, in that kitchen. flames escaped through a window and began to race up and across the outside of the building. which is why the focus right from the start has been on what was added to the tower during its refurbishment. aluminium cladding and foam insulation and right from the start, police wanted to know how fire resistant was it. preliminary tests on the insulation samples collected from grenfell tower show that they combusted soon after the test started. the initial tests on the cladding tiles also failed the safety tests. such are our safety concerns on the outcome of those
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tests we have shared our data with the department for communities and local government. the cladding and installation simply should not have burned so quickly. instead of a fire which devoured the tower, it should have been contained, like this fire, in camden, five years ago. this tower is now being evacuated. so the police tests have thrown up a string of questions. how did it spread? the materials used are under suspicion, but was the design of the refurbishment also to blame? did the work, completed last year, breach building regulations? and are the laws governing building standards clear enough and tough enough? this is a criminal investigation. police seizing documents from the companies that managed and refurbished g re nfell tower. and they will consider potential criminal charges, breaches of health and safety, or even corporate manslaughter,
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though that is difficult to prove. for several decades now, councils have been putting up cladding to improve the look and installation of their ageing tower blocks. now, in what amounts to a crisis for that strategy, some of it is being taken down. in islington, initially for testing, but next week, for good. everyone in the block is saying if you live in a tower block —— everyone in the block is saying if you live in a tower block especially, you are thinking oh my god, it could have been us. especially now they‘ve said it‘s in our cladding, we are thinking oh my god. i‘m quite tearful, actually. so far it‘s affecting high—rise residents in nine council areas. in wandsworth, where this fire broke out in 2010, 100 tower blocks are to be fitted with sprinklers. but there is grim, unfinished business back at grenfell tower. everyone has been accounted for in this flat, but
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the police need help to be sure they‘ve identified all the victims. their message today, if you know someone who was there, for whatever reason, we need to know. tom symonds, bbc news. earlier i spoke bbc london‘s sonja jessup, who‘s on the estate. this is actually one of the box we are looking at now. i want to tell you a little bit about what has been happening behind it. it is quiet now, but we have seen a steady strea m now, but we have seen a steady stream of people coming through the doors carrying just a few belongings, what they can take with them. we have a few people in yellow security jackets them. we have a few people in yellow securityjackets directing them to me and fire safety wardens talking to them. we have seen young children carrying pillows. we have seen elderly people with overnight bags, with as much as they can carry. we have even seen a lady cradling a small baby. a lot of people we have spoken to have said they are frustrated by the way it has been carried out. there is a lot of confusion. some people said they
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just heard on the news that they we re just heard on the news that they were supposed to leave. some have said that they do not want to leave. the officials are going and knocking oi'i the officials are going and knocking on doors and asking people to evacuate. they are not being clear about where people are supposed to go all for how long. there is a meeting going on at the moment to see what is happening. they say the flats are safe in the communal areas. they are concerned about issues. we are not sure what. so it issues. we are not sure what. so it is all a little chaotic. and you live here? is all a little chaotic. and you live here ? i is all a little chaotic. and you live here? i do. what is your reaction? i want to stay put. i figured as a knee—jerk reaction by the council. they had to be seen to be doing something. this is credit chaos and pandemonium. we've been living for years. the building has or is done what it was a bosa do. thisjust seems or is done what it was a bosa do. this just seems excessive. or is done what it was a bosa do. thisjust seems excessive. -- supposed to do. people are being directed around here to be swiss
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cottagers community centre. they‘ve been directed to mattresses on the floor. we are talking about 800 households being evacuated. people don‘t know how long they are going to be staying in temporary accommodation. we had in coal between two and four weeks. —— told. camden council says they understand it is distressing to people, but insists that safety measures must come first. it says the grenfell disaster has changed everything. a short time ago we heard from tulip siddique the local mp for the chalcots estate. she explained how things unfolded this evening. i had ihada i had a call from camden council about an hour ago to say last night we had a meeting, with everybody medevac, in which residents raised certain concerns. it was not about the cladding, to clarify, but about
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these they are worried about. —— with everybody present. she said she was going to do a joint approach to assess how safe the building was in light of the assessment that was done, they decide it was not safe people to be there. what i will tell you is that local authorities would not make a —— this decision lightly. they are providing hotels and asking people if they want to live with friends orfamily people if they want to live with friends or family temporarily, or whether they want to go to hotels. we area whether they want to go to hotels. we are a close—knit community with extended family run. some families i spoke to say that they are taking the offer of a hotel, others staying with friends. we understand it is destructive. but safety comes first and if it is not safe, people need to go. considering the meeting that you have had, do you think the
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residents will understand, some of whom came home from trips abroad and found no home? as it is the council leader called me, she said that we have found a phonics investigation, but from fact—finding mission that we undertook, that it was not safe for residents. —— found out from the investigation. you cannot say the building overnight if you genuinely feel it is not a safe place to stay. i commend them for taking swift action. in an ideal world, would we have given more notice? of course. but this is not an ideal situation. in light of what happened at groenefeld, we need to make sure that we are putting resident safety first. —— grenfell. as soon as g re nfell first. —— grenfell. as soon as grenfell happened, we got in touch with all of the tower blocks. the reason why this particular tower blocks are considered to be unsafe is because it contract was the same
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as grenfell, and so this got special attention. they‘ve looked at other tower blocks and does not seem at this point that they are as unsafe. i also have brent in my constituency, and have been in touch with the council there to talk about the high—rises they are. nothing has come to light there. but if it does, the same action will be taken, i imagine. what about the contract? i would like to be a fly on the wall. —— contractor. i can‘t imagine those investigations will be easy. people say they don‘t know who to call and where to get any information. the first thing that people should do is go to swiss cottagers. there is information they are and anybody who does not have a bed will be guaranteed a hotel room. camden council has locked rooms in hotels, so there will certainly be rude as
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overheads tonight. but if people need anything, my door will be open. —— there will be roofs overheads. i certainly hope we don‘t see this across the country, but i think if the council is worried about their residents are worried about a building, this is the right course of action. it is not an easy decision to make, but it is the right one at this current time. decision to make, but it is the right one at this current timelj decision to make, but it is the right one at this current time. i am with chris mason at westminster. what is the reaction tonight, politically? article is inevitable given the scale of the decision they can be council has taken, that this ration would happen. —— i think it is inevitable, given. georgia gould has been pretty in the last few minutes, reacting to the frustration from some residents, which has been
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late on friday night, and residents have indecently leave their homes. she said there were lots of questions from residents about why this move is essential. firm advice was that the blocks were not safe to sleep in tonight. we can also bring you some words from the prime minister. a series of tweets from theresa may, from downing street this evening saying... she adds... thank you very much forjoining us. chris mason in westminster. i‘ve been speaking to a resident affected by the evacuation. i‘ve been speaking to a resident affected by the evacuationlj i‘ve been speaking to a resident
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affected by the evacuation. i saw on sky news that my flat was being evacuated. so i got my flat soon as possible. i got downstairs, i saw lots of people taking all of their stuff with their kids. so it was a big confusion for me. so i tell eve ryo ne big confusion for me. so i tell everyone “— big confusion for me. so i tell everyone —— so i literally didn‘t have much time. what trust you have? at the moment, it they say that they are ina at the moment, it they say that they are in a sports centre across the road where there will be food and water, and they put up blow up beds, and at the moment, that read as if they can get hotels in temporary accommodation for everybody. —— what trust do you have. but everybody is at the sports centre at the moment when you to see what will happen. how much sympathy do you have for the council, in that they feel, with the council, in that they feel, with the fire service, that these blocks can not be guaranteed as safe.
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surely it is better to have this disruption, isn‘t it, than to be in a block that really is not fit to you to be staying in, at the moment? yes. it is definitely safe to have people being evacuated because of fire doors that only regulations. but it is a bit unfortunate, especially for somebody like me, who has a four—year—old daughter. especially for somebody like me, who has a four-year-old daughter. what concerns have you had about your home, faye, until now?|j concerns have you had about your home, faye, until now? i have not really had any concerns. it was only since what happened to grenfell tower that i realised there was not really a ny tower that i realised there was not really any safety

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