Inquiry postponed as Studio E project lead ‘unable to continue’ says Martin Moore-Bick

Studio E Architects associate Bruce Sounes, who was the practice's project lead for Grenfell Tower

Taken ill: Studio E Architects associate Bruce Sounes

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry has been halted again after Bruce Sounes, the lead architect on refurbishment project, was taken ill on his final day of evidence to the inquiry into the fire that claimed 72 lives.

Sounes, an associate at Studio E Architects, began giving evidence on Monday and had been due to conclude this afternoon. However a brief break in this morning’s proceedings was extended with panel chair Martin Moore-Bick eventually announcing that Sounes would be unable to continue.

“I’m very sorry to have kept you all waiting far longer than I had previously suggested, and particularly since you must have been wondering what’s been going on,” he said.

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“I’m sorry to tell you that Mr Sounes has been taken ill, and it’s not going to be possible for him to continue giving evidence today or even tomorrow.

“So in just a moment I shall adjourn the hearing for today, and tomorrow morning we will have a different witness who will come and start giving his evidence.”

According to the inquiry schedule, that witness is due to be Neil Crawford, a part II-qualified former Foster & Partners staffer who was Studio E’s main Grenfell Tower coordinator from 2014, when Rydon had been appointed as design-and-build contractor for the refurbishment project.