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Firefighters; London apartment block burning

Norwegian insurer says London fire will hit reinsurers

A huge fire has engulfed a tower block in West London. The fire broke out on Wednesday at Grenfell Tower in London’s Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and is expected to result in a hit to reinsurers of a Norwegian company.

Published: June 14, 2017, 12:13 pm

    London

    The building’s insurer Protector Forsikring ASA of Norway, is involved as an insurer in the fire that engulfed a 24-storey block of apartments, Reuters reported.

    The company issued a statement on Wednesday to confirm their involvement. “As the insurance provider for Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Protector Forsikring ASA is involved in the tragic fire in Grenfell Tower.

    “Our thoughts go to the people who lived in the building and their families. Protector will work closely with the local authorities and the rescue teams,” it added.

    The cost of the fire in the building in Latimer Road near Notting Hill, will have little impact on earnings in its second-quarter results, the company said, but the cost is expected to hit its reinsurance programme.

    Despite the statement, Protector shares were down 2.1 percent at 70 Norwegian crowns ($8.31) this morning on the news of the fire breaking.

    Some 50 people have been taken to hospital, with many fatalities expected. It has emerged that concerns had been raised over fire safety last year, when a residents group said they believed it could pose a “fire risk”.

    More than 250 firefighters have been deployed. An inhabitant of the apartment block spoke to media about the cladding catching fire. “The cladding was flammable, it just caught up like a matchstick,” he told Channel 4 News.

    Despite rumours, the tower is not in danger of collapse, the London Fire Brigade said in a statement.

    Rashida, a local resident, told Sky News the majority of the families in the building were Muslims. The local resident added: “It’s a very diverse area, we have all nationalities, all religions. We all know each other, there is a very high population of Moroccans, and for some reason we all live so close to each other. Literally everyone knows each other.”

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