New expert witness added to Grenfell inquiry

New expert witness added to Grenfell inquiry

THE LATEST update from the inquiry has seen a specialist on electrical fires and electrical engineering added as an expert witness.

Previously, inquiry chair Sir Martin Moore-Bick appointed three assessors to look at housing, local government and technical matters. Two days of inquiry hearings took place at the Holborn Bars in central London, and dealt with ‘case management issues’ including proposed timetables, matters concerning witnesses and the disclosure of evidence’.

Sir Martin’s inquiry is also looking to produce an initial report that would explain the ‘immediate cause and spread’ of the fire, as well as an ‘assessment of the evacuation process’. In January, it was revealed that the inquiry was preparing for its first evidential hearings, and had written to core participants to update them on the next steps.

These include that evidential hearings are planned to start in May and ‘no later than 4 June 2018’, with the lead counsel having written to core participants to invite comment on a proposed procedural programme. A full list of core participants has now been made available, with 532 individuals and organisations named altogether: 504 are ‘bereaved, survivors and local residents’, and 28 are organisations.

Earlier this week, the inquiry issued an update on its programme for the first phase of hearings, which will begin on 21 May, and it has now revealed that Dr J. Duncan Glover of Failure Electrical LLC will be an expert witness. It added that Dr Glover ‘specialises in issues pertaining to electrical engineering, particularly as they relate to failure analysis of electrical systems, subsystems and components, including causes of electrical fires’.

The expert witnesses are all providing ‘a range of technical advice and expert reports to assist’ the inquiry, with other previously revealed including: Dr Barbara Lane, leader of fire safety engineering at Arup; Colin Todd, fire safety consultant at CS Todd & Associates Ltd; Professor Edwin Galea, director of the fire safety engineering group at the University of Greenwich; and Dr Ivan Stoianov, senior lecturer in water systems engineering at Imperial College London.

Further expert witnesses consist of: José L. Torero, director of the centre for disaster resilience at the University of Maryland; Luke Bisby, professor of fire and structures at the University of Edinburgh; Professor Niamh Nic Daeid, director of research at the centre for anatomy and human identification at the University of Dundee; Rodney Hancox, director of Gas Distribution Solutions Ltd; and Steve McGuirk, former chief fire officer for Greater Manchester, Cheshire and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Services.