The Latest: Official: NFL arena has panels like London tower
Jul. 20, 2017
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Latest on concerns about fire safety in U.S. buildings (all times local):
Cleveland's chief building official says panels used on a city-owned NFL stadium are "similar if not identical" to those used at a London apartment tower that burned.
However, Thomas Vanover also says he's confident the Cleveland Browns' stadium is safe.
A spokesman for Cleveland's mayor initially said questions about the stadium would have to wait until after the investigation into the London fire, which killed at least 80 people. But Vanover held a news conference Thursday after The Associated Press reported on concerns about several U.S. buildings, including the stadium.
Vanover says the panels were installed on the stadium in a different way than in London's Grenfell Tower, and that the venue's overall cladding system was different.
Arconic Inc. quit making the panels available for high-rise buildings after the fire.
A U.S. company boasted of the "stunning visual effect" its shimmering aluminum panels created in an NFL stadium, an Alaskan high school and a 33-story luxury hotel along Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
Those same panels — called Reynobond PE — are under scrutiny by British authorities investigating the fire that ripped across the Grenfell Tower apartment building in London, killing at least 80 people.
Determining which buildings are wrapped in the same material in the U.S. is difficult. In some cases, records were discarded and neither the owners, operators, contractors nor architects involved could or would confirm Reynobond PE's use.
That makes it hard to know whether the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel or Cleveland Browns' football stadium — both in Arconic's brochures — are clad in the same material as Grenfell Tower.