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Evacuation 'an unprecedented operation', says council leader

Residents have been evacuated on the advice of the fire brigade Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

The evacuation of a London estate in the wake of the Grenfell fire has been an 'unprecedented operation', according to the leader of the council carrying out the removal of residents.

Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council, said the movement of some 800 people from their homes on the borough's Chalcots Estate had been a matter of emergency following advice from the fire service regarding "a number of fire safety issues" that they had previously been unaware of.

In a statement released in the early hours of Saturday, she said: "An operation of this scale, at such pace, is not without issues and problems along the way, but we had to do this, we have to act on fire service advice.

"Questions about how this could happen to these buildings will be asked, answered and actioned.

"Everyone involved with tonight’s operation knows that this is hugely distressing for all affected, but we would not have done this, and with such immediacy, if we didn’t have to."

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