'Company provided cladding for Grenfell Tower knowing it was a fire risk', says journalist

'Company provided cladding for Grenfell Tower knowing it was a fire risk', says journalist

A fire broke out at Grenfell Tower on June 14

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The company that sold cladding to be used on Grenfell Tower knew it was a fire risk, but it's not clear whether the material was legal, according to a journalist.

Tom Bergin wrote a report for Reuters which claimed Arconic Inc knew the panels it was selling were to be used on Grenfell Tower, despite warning publicly that they were a fire risk for tall buildings.

The reporter told Paul Ross: "It said in its own marketing material that these kinds of materials were not really suitable for high-rise buildings...nonetheless they went ahead and sold this lower-cost, more flammable material into Grenfell Tower.

"Arconic's share price dropped 10 per cent this week...because investors are sitting back and saying, 'on the one hand, you warned people this thing was dangerous, yet you knowingly sold it.

"It’s unclear whether the materials used [on Grenfell Tower] were legal or not, but it is something that one can establish. [Regulation is] not so 'grey' that nobody could ever establish that."

He added that it's "not necessarily a bad thing" that regulation isn't specific "because every building is different" and specific regulations can struggle to keep up as technology advances and new studies bring deeper knowledge.

Listen to the full interview above

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