Blaze rips through London tower with same cladding as Grenfell
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London (AFP) –
Medics treated 44 people on Friday after a fire tore through a London tower block covered in the same cladding blamed for the 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy that killed 72.
London Fire Brigade said the blaze in Poplar, east London, was under control but two men were taken to hospital with smoke inhalation and a further 38 adults and four children treated at the scene.
Twenty fire engines tackled the fire at the 19-storey block of flats near the Canary Wharf financial district, with reports that parts of the eighth, ninth and 10th floors were alight.
The blaze evoked memories of the 2017 tragedy, when Grenfell Tower in west London was completely gutted after the cladding on the outside of the building caught fire.
Around 20 percent of the facade of the tower block in Friday's fire features aluminium composite material polyethylene cladding panels, which were found to be a key factor in the Grenfell fire.
Survivors and relatives of those who died at Grenfell said Friday that "enough is enough".
"The government promised to remove dangerous cladding by June 2020 -- it has completely failed its own target and every day that goes by lives are at risk," support group Grenfell United said in a statement.
"Today more people have lost their homes in another terrifying fire."
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said it was "vital that government, developers, building owners and regional authorities work together to urgently remove the cladding from every affected building."
Work to replace the cladding was already "under way", according to building developer Ballymore.
© 2021 AFP