Hundreds of residents to be evacuated over gas work fears in London tower blocks

Friday, 11 August 2017, 02:30:39 PM. Hundreds of residents will be evacuated from their high-rise flats after an investigation revealed their homes may not be safe.
Hundreds of residents will be evacuated from their high-rise flats after an investigation revealed their homes may not be safe. The gas supply to 242 flats in Ledbury Towers, south London was cut off with immediate effect on Thursday. Southwark Council said while it appreciates the move is "inconvenient" to those living in the Peterchurch, Bromyard, Skenfirth and Sarnsfield blocks, it is "not willing to take any risks". Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, concerns over cracks in the buildings were raised by residents, and structural engineers Arup were instructed to investigate their cause, the authority said. It was during Arup's investigation that an historic issue was also raised surrounding the gas supply to the four blocks - which was installed when they were built in 1968 to 1970. A letter sent to residents announcing the decision, states that in 1968 the similarly constructed Ronan Point in Newham partially collapsed after a gas explosion - prompting blocks around the UK to be made safe to carry a supply of the fuel. Grenfell Tower fire Stephanie Cryan, deputy leader and cabinet member for housing at Southwark Council, said records suggest the four blocks were strengthened following the Ronan Point incident. "Arup's structural investigations suggest this strengthening may not have occurred, and we have therefore turned off the gas, until further investigations can be done," she said. "We are doing all we can to provide residents with alternatives while the gas is...Read more
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