Grenfell Tower: Cladding firm ends global sales for tower blocks

Grenfell Tower fireImage copyright

The US firm that supplied cladding used on London’s Grenfell Tower has ended global sales of the product for use in high-rise blocks, it has said.

Arconic said it was “discontinuing” global sales of Reynobond PE for use in tower blocks due to “issues” identified after the fire on 14 June, which is feared to have killed at least 79.

Theresa May has asked councils to speed up tower block safety tests in England.

Four more inquests have opened, including that of a boy aged five.

The body of Isaac Paulos, who lived with his family on the 18th floor, was found on the 13th floor, Westminster Coroner’s Court was told.

A preliminary cause of his death was given as “inhalation of fire fumes”.

Inquests of Mary Ajaoi Augustus Mendy, 54, Khadija Saye, 24, and Mohamednur Tuccu, 44-years were also opened.

Dr Fiona Wilcox, senior coroner at Westminster Coroner’s Court, adjourned the inquests until a later date.

Cladding questions

Questions about the cladding used on Grenfell Tower, in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, were raised in the days after the fire.

Engineering and manufacturing company Arconic later confirmed Reynobond PE (polyethylene) – an aluminium composite material – was “used as one component in the overall cladding system” of the block.

The material has a plastic core, which is feared may have helped accelerate the spread of the fire.

In a fresh statement, the firm said it had stopped sales of Reynobond PE for tall buildings, citing concerns about the “inconsistency of building codes across the world”.

Following the Grenfell Tower fire, issues have arisen “regarding code compliance of cladding systems”, it added.

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Cladding has been removed for testing in a number of areas, including Salford

Earlier, the prime minister chaired a Grenfell Recovery Taskforce meeting, calling for cladding samples to be sent for government tests more quickly, a Number 10 spokesman said.

Housing minister Alok Sharma told the BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme some councils were acting “very quickly”.

Cladding from as many as 600 tower blocks across England is being tested for safety, amid fears the type of cladding on Grenfell Tower may have helped the fire to spread.

Of the 60 high-rise building tested so far, in 25 areas, none has passed.

Mr Sharma added: “People should not wait for the checks to come back from these (tests).

“They should act now, get the fire service in, check the buildings that they think may be affected, put in place mitigation measures, if required, or, as in the case of Camden, if they need to evacuate, that needs to happen.”

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