A BBC investigation has alleged that the insulation used in the refurbishment of London’s Grenfell Tower, which was tragically destroyed by fire in June 2017 with the loss of 72 people, never passed a fire safety test, and was unfit for use.
The BBC Panorama program, which aired on Monday night, concluded that the manufacturer Celotex “used extra fire retardant in the product that qualified for the safety certificate,” with the more flammable produce then sold for public use. According to the BBC, Celotex is yet to deny the program’s allegations.
The investigation centers on the use of RS5000 insulation in Grenfell’s refurbishment, which gives off toxic fumes when burning. Panorama contends that the specific insulation used had not passed a safety test, and was instead a more flammable version of a previously-tested insulation. This detail could be crucial, as the BBC believe that almost all of the tragedy’s victims were killed by smoke.
Panorama also reported that fire tests only showed the RS5000 insulation to be safe for use when combined with specific fire-proof cladding panels in new build projects. The program claims that Celotex targeted the contractors working on Grenfell’s refurbishment to offer the insulation, despite being aware it would be combined with combustible cladding.
The BBC claim that Celotex “knowingly misled buyers about RS5000. Its marketing suggested the insulation was suitable for use with other cladding panels and for tower block refurbishment projects like Grenfell [when] neither was true.”
Celotex released a statement yesterday, May 22nd, responding to the allegations contained in the BBC Panorama program. They point out that “the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the Police investigation are on-going,” and that they “will continue to fully co-operate with these official processes.”
During the programme, a new allegation was made that Celotex had added fire retardant to the formula of a product sample which was used for a safety certificate and that a different product to this was actually sold. Prior to Panorama raising this, we were unaware of this allegation and had not identified anything which would support it. Celotex is investigating this allegation via all avenues as a matter of urgency.
-Celotex Statement, 22nd May 2018
News via: BBC.
This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Why the Best Response to the Grenfell Tower Fire Isn't a Memorial." Memorials play an integral role in marking significant people, moments, or events. In recent years, they have become glorifications of tragedy by attempting to express unimaginable horrors in poetic and beautiful ways.