Ronan Point

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Ronan Point was a 23-storey high-rise block of flats (apartment block), one of a number of blocks built by industrialised building methods in the London Borough of Newham between 1966 and 1968.

Early in the morning of 16 May 1968, only a few weeks after it was first occupied, a tenant, Mrs Ivy Hodge, lit the gas cooker in the kitchen of her 18th-storey flat, triggering an explosion that caused the progressive collapse of the south-east corner of the tower. Because of the early hour of the explosion, and the fact that the collapse mainly affected kitchens, only 5 of the 160 residents were killed (Mrs Hodge survived); but the disaster, and the findings of the subsequent judicial inquiry, were major factors in ending Britain's 'high-rise boom' in public housing provision. The report found serious shortcomings in the design of blocks (to inadequate and outdated building regulations), in construction management and in the quality and supervision of workmanship.[1]