Arconic to stop selling panels after Grenfell Tower fire

Arconic could face lawsuits over its role in the fire. The company has not commented on whether the material used in the tower met UK building regulations or not.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Members of the emergency services work inside the burnt out remains of the Grenfell apartment tower in North Kensington, London, on June 18, 2017.

Arconic Inc said on Monday it will stop global sales of plastic-filled aluminium cladding panels for use in high-rise buildings after a fire in London's Grenfell Tower, which was covered in the panels, killed at least 79 people.

Shares of the company, formerly a part of Alcoa, fell as much as 11.3 percent after it was reported on Saturday it had supplied the cladding knowing it would be used at Grenfell Tower, despite warning in its brochures those specific panels were a fire risk in tall buildings.


Lawyers said that Arconic could face lawsuits on both sides of the Atlantic over its role in the fire, including claims brought by victims and their families, although the extent of the company's legal liabilities is not clear. 

Arconic did not immediately reply to a request for comment on potential legal action.

Announcing the end of sales of the panels for tall buildings, Arconic cited "inconsistencies in building codes around the world" and code compliance issues that have arisen concerning use of cladding systems as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire. UK authorities said the use of the panels in Grenfell Tower was in breach of UK building regulations.

Arconic declined to comment on whether the material met UK building regulations, saying it was for local contractors and officials to decide whether or not its materials were suitable and consistent with local regulations.

Other companies involved in the refurbishment of the building in which the Arconic cladding material was fitted said they complied with all local rules.

TRTWorld, Reuters