Grenfell: Celotex investigates BBC allegation of dishonesty

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Photo by London Fire Department The June 2017 fire spread quickly from one apartment to engulf nearly all of the residential building, killing at least 79.

UK-based thermal insulation manufacturer, Celotex is internally investigating claims that it used a flame retarded sample to obtain a safety certificate and supplied a more flammable version to the Grenfell Tower.

The allegation was made in the BBC’s Panorama programme on 22 May 2018. It centres on the company’s RS5000 insulation.

In a statement on its website Celotex said:

‘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 has not used any special formulation for the recent successful BS-8414 system test in May 2018 or Class 0 fire testing. It is very hard to understand the Panorama allegation alongside those tests.’

Panorama is 65 years old and claims to be the world’s longest-running current affairs programme. It typically reaches an audience of 2m people each week in the UK.

Fire engulfed the Grenfell tower on the night of 13 June 2017. The fire killed 73 people.

The fire  is the subject of a criminal investigation, organised by London’s Metropolitan Police and a Public Inquiry under retired Judge Martin Moore-Blick.

The company continued that the ‘current management of Celotex are absolutely determined to do the right thing. That means cooperating fully with the Inquiry and other official investigations, and sharing with them all relevant material.’

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