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Ronan Point - Daily Telegraph

Ronan Point, following the gas explosion

Ronan Point was a 23-storey tower block in Newham, East London, which suffered a fatal partial collapse due to a gas explosion 16 May 1968.

Ronan Point, named after Harry Ronan (a former Chairman of the Housing Committee of the London Borough of Newham), was part of the wave of tower blocks built in the 1960s as cheap, affordable prefabricated housing for inhabitants of the West Ham region of London. The tower was built by Taylor Woodrow Anglian, using a technique known as Large Panel System building or LPS. This involved casting large concrete prefabricated sections off-site, then bolting them together to construct the building.

Building started in 1966, and construction was completed on 11 March 1968. It was demolished in 1986, and was dismantled piece by piece instead of being blown up with explosives, it was discovered that Ronan Point had not been constructed properly and its structural integrity was compromised.

Changing social attitudesEdit

Ronan Point changed the course of attitudes to tower blocks, before the collapse people saw tower blocks as the solution to high density urban living but afterwards tower blocks started to become unpopular. The problem was compounded when councils failed to maintain tower blocks to high standards and used them for unpopular anti-social tenants.

Since the Ronan Point collapse there has been no similar accident. Tower blocks are now safer because new regulations ensured older tower blocks became electric and newer tower blocks have to be built to higher safety standards. Although the accident was not repeated tower blocks have not as yet in the early 21st century regained popularity.

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