Danny Collins — The Sun June 14, 2017
THE West London tower block ravaged by an inferno overnight was renovated with a type of cladding linked to a series of blazes around the globe, it is claimed.
The Grenfell block in West London – which went up in flames leaving at least 12 dead and scores injured this morning – was covered with ACM cladding, building documents seen by The Sun show.
ACM – short for aluminium composite material – is used to cover insulation and similar panels have been linked to a series of deadly high-rise fires in the past.
According to The Age one person was killed and six injured when the Mermoz Tower in Roubaix, France, went up in flames in 2012.
Melbourne’s Lacrosse tower also suffered a huge blaze. Both fires were reportedly linked to ACM.
Cladding at Grenfell Tower fitted as part of a £8.6million pound renovation by building group Rydon.
According to planning documents, sub-contractors Harley were paid £2.6million to oversee the cladding installation.
The type of cladding used was reported to be ACM rainscreen over-clad.
A spokesman for Harley Facades told Sun Online: “This is an incredibly tragic incident. Our thoughts are with the residents and their families who have suffered such a personal loss.
“We will fully support and cooperate with the investigations into this fire.
“There will be many questions about this whole incident and so you will appreciate that it would not be appropriate for us to comment or for others to speculate on any aspect of fire or it causes in advance of these inquiries.
“At this time, we are not aware of any link between the fire and the exterior cladding to the tower.”
Sun Online has contacted both Harley and Rydon for comment.
Witnesses to the blaze described how the material “went up like paper”.
Another told Channel 4 news: “The fire was coming up really fast because of the cladding.
“The cladding was flammable.”
The material has also been linked to a number of fires in the United Arab Emirates, the US and South Korea.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Rydon’s chief Andrew Goldman said: “We don’t know there is any direct link between the fire and cladding.”
But he admitted that he didn’t know the “exact specifications” of the cladding.
He said: “We don’t know there is any direct link between the fire and cladding.
“There are various different types of cladding and I don’t know the exact specifications.
“It’s a terrible disaster and again we want to get to the bottom as quickly as possible.
“All the materials that we used and the procedures we put in place follow health and safety guidelines.
“These things are signed off by the relevant authorities to make sure they comply.”
The company had earlier insisted its work – which was completed on May 2016 – “met all required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards.”
A statement from the company on the “devastating” fire today read: “Rydon completed a refurbishment of the building in the summer of 2016 for KCTMO (Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation) on behalf of the council, which met all required building control, fire regulation, and health and safety standards.
“We will co-operate with the relevant authorities and emergency services and fully support their inquiries into the causes of this fire at the appropriate time.”
The building was last tested for fire safety shortly after the new cladding was fitted in December 2015.
Investigators are currently trying to establish the exact cause of the blaze, which left 69 injured.
Police said the death toll of 12 is likely to increase dramatically.