News

Grenfell death toll announced, plus more testing

11 July 2017 | By James Kenny

Image: ChiralJon/Wikimedia Commons

The number of people who died in the Grenfell Tower fire will remain at about 80, police have stated. 

At a press conference on Monday, Scotland Yard said they thought 350 people were in the tower when the blaze erupted last month. They said 255 people had survived and another 14 residents were not in their flats at the time of the blaze. 

It is the first time the police have given a figure for the number of residents in the west London tower when the fire broke out.

They believe the number of dead will stay at about 80 despite suggestions from some independent experts that the toll could be much higher. 

Elsewhere, the government has announced that more testing is to be undertaken on building cladding in the wake of the fire after samples sent in from 190 tower blocks across the country failed fire safety tests.

According to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), which has been carrying out the testing, experts will now look at how different varieties of cladding insulation with different types of aluminium composite material (ACM) panels react in a fire as part of the extended testing.

The DCLG said results of the next round of tests, which will again be undertaken by the BRE, “will help landlords make decisions on any further measures that may need to be put in place to make their buildings safe following the Grenfell Tower fire”.

The latest tests will not require any new samples from buildings that have already sent them in. They come after 100% of the samples tested so far failed combustibility tests, prompting an independent expert safety panel to recommend further tests be carried out.

Tests will look at three different types of ACM cladding combined with different types of insulation in accordance with British Standard 8414.

The additional testing will involve the construction of a building 30ft (9m) high which has a demonstration wall with a complete cladding system that will be subjected to conditions that replicate “a severe fire” and comes after concerns were raised that material was being tested too severely.

It is hoped the results will be able to help landlords make decisions about any further actions they may need to take to ensure buildings they have responsibility for are safe.

Image: ChiralJon/Wikimedia Commons

Comments

"They believe the number of dead will stay at about 80 despite suggestions from some independent experts that the toll could be much higher" This means for political reasons they have stopped counting. Top dogs get jail sentences for much less??

Sheila, 11 July 2017

I am saddened and horrified at the result off the apparent wrongly specified panels used.
During the early sixties I worked in the R&D department for Industrialised housing at Roften Homes working with many suppliers
One of the fundamental tests due to the nature of construction consisting of steel frames with wood-cement infill panels with outer pressed steel fenestration and inner fibre board lining was the fire resistance integrity of the panels.
This involved building panels and having extensive fire tests carried out by the Fire Research Station at
Borehamwood in order to be certified for use in housing.
Other work on the panels involved insulation values and noise suppression through the panels.
It seems that whilst this was a requirement in the sixties some 50 to 60 years later it was not considered necessary which is a very sad state of affairs.

Jim Delves, 11 July 2017

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