London — The British Urethane Foam Manufacturers Association (BRUFMA) is backing a call for a "full and proper investigation" into all the circumstances of the recent Grenfell Tower fire in London which has so far claimed 79 lives.
The fire happened late on June14 and into June 15 at a subsidized apartment tower block in London. According to documents seen by Urethanes Technology International, a sister publication of Plastics News, material from Celotex designated Celotex FR 5000, was specified in a planning note of 2012. However, the firm said on its website that it has been contracted to supply RS 5000 boards.
Simon Storer, chairman of BRUFMA, said "we know it [FR5000] was specified originally, but whether it was used, where it was used and whether it was used correctly are questions need to be answered as quickly as possible. We all want to understand what happened for the sake of the residents, the sake of the industry and everybody else involved."
Storer added that although the material is specified in the planning note, "the work wasn't started until 2016, it's not unusual for product replacement to occur because of changes in contractors."
He called for the investigation to establish "what other work had been carried out, to what standard." as part of the public inquiry.
Under British law, this could be a public inquiry ordered by United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May. In addition, families of the victims of the fire can demand inquests investigate the deaths of each of the occupants of the tower. Inquests are formal legal proceedings with a jury, which would decide on the causes of death such as unlawful killing or accident.
A statement on Celotex website reads:
"With the rest of the nation our thoughts continue to be with those affected by the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower in London. On Wednesday, as soon as we were able to, we confirmed that our records showed a Celotex product (RS5000) was purchased for use in refurbishing the building. We wanted to provide an update to that statement and provide further information as we are able to.
"It is important to state that Celotex manufacture rigid board insulation only. We do not manufacture, supply or install cladding. Insulation is one component in a rainscreen system, and is positioned in that system behind the cladding material.
"As we previously stated, our records show a Celotex product (RS5000) was purchased for use in refurbishing the building. This product has a fire rating classification of Class 0, in accordance with British Standards. Celotex RS5000 is the insulation component specifically tested as part of a system to British Standard BS8414-2:2005. When the system is designed and installed in line with this, RS5000 meets the criteria set out in BRE Report BR 135 'Fire performance of external thermal insulation for walls of multi story buildings.'
"We will of course assist the relevant authorities fully with any inquiries they have."