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Five London towers being evacuated over fire safety fears

The remains of Grenfell Tower, a residential tower block in west London which was gutted by fire, are pictured against the London skyline on June 16, 2017.

London, United Kingdom | AFP |  Five residential London tower blocks were being evacuated on Friday due to fire safety concerns over their external cladding following the deadly Grenfell Tower inferno.

The towers in the Swiss Cottage area of north London, containing around 800 homes, were deemed unsafe following urgent tests on their exterior cladding, which was installed by the same contractor as on the Grenfell Tower.

Following the snap decision, residents were told to muster at the local library. They will then be sent to hotels across London.

Works to remove the cladding are expected to take two to four weeks.

“Grenfell changes everything and I don’t believe we can take any risks,” Georgia Gould, leader of the Camden Council local authority, told reporters.

“It’s happening immediately… we could not be sure that people could be safe.

“We know it’s a scary time but we will make sure that they stay safe.

“All we care about is getting people safely into accommodation while we do these urgent works. The cost we can deal with later.”

A total of 79 people are presumed dead in the June 14 Grenfell Tower blaze in Kensington, west London.

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