Block of flats evacuated after structural issues found

Residents of a tower block in Bristol have had to leave their homes after structural problems were discovered.

Surveys conducted at three of the 98 flats at Barton House in the Barton Hill area of the city found there is a “risk to the structure of the block” in the event of a fire, explosion or large impact.

Bristol City Council is asking all tenants to leave immediately “as a precautionary measure” while more in-depth inspections are carried out.

Anyone who can stay with relatives or friends is being urged to do so “for a short period of time” while the remainder will be housed in a temporary rest centre at the Tawfiq Masjid & Centre mosque where beds, food and drink will be available.

A council statement said: “The length of this temporary arrangement is dependent on a further survey of the building, which is being arranged to happen as soon as possible.

“All tenants will be kept regularly informed of progress and any updates on support arrangements.

“The cautious approach being taken to Barton House is to ensure that no unnecessary risk is taken with the wellbeing of those who live there.

“No evidence has been presented to suggest there is any immediate risk to health and life.”

Anyone who lives there and has not been able to speak to council officers should call the free hotline on 0800 694 0184.

Lines will be open until midnight on Tuesday and between 8.30am and 5pm on Wednesday and residents can call 0117 922 2050 outside these times.

Residents will also be able to visit the council’s Citizen Service Point at 100 Temple Street from 10am on Wednesday.

The council said there is “no evidence” issues at the block of flats, which was built in 1958, are present elsewhere on its estate.

Avon Fire and Rescue Service has been informed of the development and further information will be made available to tenants “on an ongoing basis”.