Altnagelvin Hospital tower to be inspected after London fire

The tower block at Altnagelvin Hospital is in line for a safety check after this weeks devastating fire in London.
The tower block at Altnagelvin Hospital is in line for a safety check after this weeks devastating fire in London.

The tower block at Derry’s Altnagelvin Hospital is among a number of buildings set to undergo an urgent fire safety check after a devastating blaze swept through a block of flats in London this week.

At least 17 people are known to have died in the fire at a tower block in North Kensington during the early hours of Wednesday.

Concerns have since been raised about the cladding installed on Grenfell Tower.

The NI Department of Health said it has asked health trusts to do an “immediate assessment” of their fire safety precautions at their hospitals and buildings, including “checks on the type of cladding used”.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “All necessary precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of staff and patients.”

A spokesperson for the Western Health Trust (WHSCT) said: “In line with the recent Department of Health communication to all HSC bodies, the Trust is undertaking an immediate assessment of fire safety precautions of Trust facilities including checks on the type of cladding used. All necessary precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of staff and patients.”

It’s understood the cladding installed on Grenfell Tower was also used on other buildings that have been hit by fires around the world.

It’s been claimed the exterior cladding, added in 2015, had a polyethylene - or plastic - core instead of an even more fireproof alternative.

It’s been reported that high-rise buildings in France, the UAE and Australia that had similar cladding have all been hit by fires that spread.

The company which completed the renovations at Grenfell Tower said the work met all fire regulations.