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Worried About Another Fire, London Safety Officials Move Thousands to Temporary Shelters

After the terrible fire that roared through Grenfell Tower in London earlier this month, creating so much destruction that it still isn’t clear what the death toll is, city officials have been under siege for not properly dealing with what many believe was a preventable tragedy.

Fire safety officials in London are attempting to identify other potential residential hazards similar to Grenfell Tower and are evacuating residents:

More from CBS News:

Britain’s fire-safety crisis expanded substantially Saturday as London officials scrambled to evacuate four massive public housing towers due to concerns about flammable external cladding, problematic fire doors and insulation around gas pipes.

Hundreds of residents hastily packed their bags and sought emergency shelter, with many angry and confused about the chaotic situation. Some refused to leave their high-rise apartments. Scores of evacuees slept on inflatable beds in a nearby gym while officials sought better accommodations for them.

More that 4,000 people are now displaced, a number that could increase as officials identify more hazardous high-rises, CBS News correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti reports.

The eagerness to place safety first isn’t exactly going smoothly:

Many residents complained of a lack of information and confusion. Officials first announced the evacuation of one building, then expanded it to five, then later reduced it to four. Some residents said they learned about the evacuation on television news hours before officials came knocking on doors.

Renee Williams, 90, who has lived in Taplow Tower since 1968, told Britain’s Press Association: “No official came and told us what’s going on. I saw it on the TV, so I packed an overnight bag.

“It’s unbelievable. I understand that it’s for our safety but they can’t just ask us to evacuate with such short notice. There’s no organization and it’s chaos,” she said.

Officials are seeking the voluntary cooperating of all residential landlords in the city to have their building materials tested.