Grenfell Tower inquiry: Manufacturers blame each other for tragic west London fire that killed 72

People listen to a multi-faith and wreath laying ceremony at the base of Grenfell Tower
The Grenfell Tower fire resulted in the deaths of 72 people Credit: PA Stills

The blame game continued at the Grenfell inquiry today as the companies behind the cladding and insulation on the tower sought to place the fault on one another.

The inquiry is in its final stage with representatives of the companies involved making their closing statements.

The fire at the residential tower block in North Kensington, west London, on the night of 24 June 2017 resulted in the deaths of 72 people.

Central to the tragedy is the flammable cladding which covered the tower - a product which was the primary cause of the fire spread according to the inquiry.

More than 70 people died in the Grenfell Tower fire on June 14 2017 Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA

The Reynobond PE, a type of ACM cladding was sold by French firm Arconic to UK customers, while a small amount of Kingspan’s Kooltherm K15 insulation was used on the tower.

Representatives for Arconic claimed the sale of their product was legal.

Their defence of the cladding differs from what was said on Monday by the lawyers of the bereaved families who claim Arconic sold the cladding knowing it had failed fire safety tests.

Arconic maintain their cladding safety certificate was never read properly during the Grenfell refurbishment.

The firm says, if that had happened, "it almost certainly would have saved lives."

Stephen Hockman KC, for Arconic said his clients had struggled for a fair hearing: “So great is the weight of criticism which has been directed against us that it sometimes seemed to our clients that there has been an agenda throughout to subject them to condemnation even before the case has been fully heard.”

Referring to other parties involved he said blaming Arconic was a "convenient way" to avoid taking responsibility for their own failures.

One of those companies is Kingspan who manufactured the insulation on the tower which was placed under the cladding.

The firm's representative Geraint Webb KC, told the inquiry on Tuesday: “The Grenfell Tower fire was a tragedy that should never have happened."

Kingspan's lawyer said the cladding was the 'overwhelming cause' of the fire spread Credit: Grenfell Inquiry

He admitted there were shortcomings in relation to the testing and certification of the company's insulation product K15 but insisted the principal cause of the fire was the cladding:

"The presence of the PE ACM [the cladding] effectively eclipses everything else" he told the inquiry.

Closing statements from lawyers representing other core participants will be heard this week.

They include the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council, the Housing Secretary and the Mayor of London.

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