Cladding from South Tyneside high-rise blocks sent for testing in wake of Grenfell Tower disaster

Grenfell Tower
Grenfell Tower

Samples of cladding from South Tyneside high-rise blocks have been sent for safety testing in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

The move comes as police confirmed cladding and insulation encasing the Kensington block did not pass any fire-safety tests.

Durham Court

Durham Court

Metropolitan Police Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack said tests on the building's material as part of the police investigation were 'small scale', but added: "All I can say at the moment is they (tiles and insulation) don't pass any safety tests.

"What we are being told at the moment by the Building Research Establishment is that the cladding and insulation failed all safety tests."

The revelation comes as a nationwide hunt for high-rise buildings with flammable cladding continues, with thousands of people finding their homes were potentially dangerous

The Government said at least 11 buildings across eight local authority areas in England were found to have flammable cladding.

Towers in Camden, Manchester and Plymouth are among the at-risk buildings, Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid said in a letter to MPs.

Hundreds of further buildings are being tested by the Government to see if they pose a fire threat.

A South Tyneside Council spokeswoman said the cladding system on Hebburn's Durham Court and Wilkinson Court, Ellen Court and Monastery Court in Jarrow was all fire-resistant, but the council and South Tyneside Homes had still sent samples for testing to reassure residents.

"We are not obliged to test as the cladding is not the same as that used in Grenfell Tower," she said.

"However, we have decided to test the material to provide additional reassurance for our residents.

"This is ongoing."

Superintendent McCormack confirmed manslaughter charges are being considered by detectives investigating the Grenfell Tower fire as it emerged the structure had failed fire safety tests.

Documents and materials had been seized from a "number of organisations", she said: "We are looking at every criminal offence from manslaughter onwards, we are looking at every health and safety and fire safety offences and we are reviewing every company at the moment involved in the building and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower."