Grenfell Tower fire: Berlin air conditioning company ‘suspends activities’

Written by By Marcello M. Scarpetta, CNN Staff Writer

The Berlin-based air-conditioning company that installed insulation in the Grenfell Tower in London is to “suspend its activities” pending an investigation into claims that the insulation caused the deadly blaze, a spokesperson for the company told CNN.

Mercedes-Benz Climate Control signed a contract with Ruag to replace its external external air conditioning systems with a humidity-controlled system that would reduce fuel consumption by as much as 30%.

Mercedes-Benz Climate Control signed a contract with Ruag to replace its external external air conditioning systems with a humidity-controlled system that would reduce fuel consumption by as much as 30%.

But it was alleged on Monday that the Ruag system failed a safety test, which it carried out before Grenfell Tower was ever fitted with its insulation. It resulted in over 38 million British pounds ($50 million) in damages and injuries to residents.

Ruag replaced its original external air conditioning units with the nitrogen-filtration system in 2013 but the new ventilation wasn’t permitted by the local authorities until several years later. The system was never installed in Grenfell Tower.

Press reports subsequently showed that the Ruag air conditioning system caused the fires that engulfed Grenfell Tower in June 2017. A separate air conditioner broke down during the fire, which broke out at Grenfell Tower in June 2017. But it was alleged on Monday that the Ruag system failed a safety test.

The Ruag system became problematic after the fire. The system was never installed in Grenfell Tower, but the civil engineering firm that worked on the renovation claimed that the Ruag system had caused the increased fire risk. This left people living in the tower, despite the condensation system, without an air conditioning system.

The faulty air conditioner is blamed for encouraging the deadly fire, which killed 72 people on June 14, 2017.

On Monday, Grenfell United — a volunteer organization that worked with bereaved residents — and Reclaim the Grenfell site spoke to journalists about claims made by Grenfell survivor Hamid Alhajali. The tower resident is the only known survivor of the Grenfell Tower fire.

The whistleblower claims that the air-conditioning system caused the fire, though this has not been proven.

A Ruag spokesperson told CNN that this is “unproven” and that the company “will provide a response soon”.

The Ruag spokesperson said on Monday: “Last Tuesday, the building owner … wrote to us saying that an engineer had been brought in from the city, from England, to carry out tests on samples from the air conditioning unit within the building’s electricity supply.

Leave a Comment