UK's May says 120 failed fire tests in apartment blocks show wider issue

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 28, 2017 7:57 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday that 120 apartment blocks had failed fire tests in the wake of a blaze that killed 79 people at Grenfell Tower in London.

May said the test failures showed that there was a wider fire safety issue that was the result of failures over many decades.

She clashed with opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who said that the Grenfell fire should be a "wake-up call" for the government.

"As we have seen from the number of buildings where the cladding has failed the combustibility test ... this is a much wider issue," May said.

"It's an issue that has been continuing for many years, for decades, in terms of cladding being put up in buildings. There are real questions, as to how this has happened, why it's happened and how we can ensure that it doesn't happen in the future."

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, writing by Alistair Smout, editing by Estelle Shirbon)