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Russell Court evacuation was inevitable

While it is clear that considerable disruption will be caused by the evacuation of sixty residents from a housing complex in south Belfast, it needs to be accepted that any doubts over fire safety issues must always be immediately addressed.

As an official survey has concluded that serious concerns exist over standards in one of the blocks at the Russell Court, yesterday's decision to move out the tenants over the next four weeks was inevitable.

The Lisburn Road building, which originally opened as a hotel in the 1970s, is less than half the size of Grenfell Tower in west London where 72 people died in an appalling blaze just over a year ago.

However, if risks to the public are identified in the course of inspections at any multi-storey development, the authorities have no option other than to act decisively.

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