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Prosecution of Council for alleged safety failings at deadly Lakanal House fire moved to February

Southwark Council faces prosecution over a series of alleged safety breaches in relation to the Lakanal House tower block fire that left six people dead.

London Fire Brigade has accused the council of a catalogue of failings at Lakanal House in Camberwell, where three women and three children died on July 3, 2009, in a fire started by an electrical fault with a television.

Designer Catherine Hickman, 31, who had been commissioned for work by the singer Bjork and whose work had been stocked in shops in New York, died in the blaze alongside Helen Udoaka, 34, and her three-week-old daughter Michelle.

Dayana Francisquini, 26, and her children, six-year-old Thais and three-year-old Felipe, were also killed.

Among the charges are allegations that there was no fire risk assessment for the premises, and that suspended ceilings in the building were in a poor state of repair and were not constructed in a way or made of materials that would stop a fire from spreading.

Other allegations claim that other parts of the construction of the building failed to adequately provide barriers to smoke and fire, and that strips and seals were not fitted to fire escape doors or the doors to flats.

Southwark Council, accused of 22 charges under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, is set for a plea hearing on February 24, Southwark Crown Court was told in a brief hearing on Wednesday.

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