The fire that swept through a 27-storey west London tower block in just 15 minutes after a faulty fridge exploded could be one of the worst in British history amid fears nobody on its top three floors survived.
“Prayers go out to people trapped as major blaze engulfs west London high rise”
From Nicer Days
A massive blaze has engulfed Grenfell Tower in Latimer Road, near Notting Hill, in West London. At the moment the cause of the fire is unknown. Firefighters struggle to control the flames, but eyewitnesses have report seeing trapped residents jumping from windows.
Sky News senior correspondent Ashish Joshi was on the scene. “The building is pretty much burned down, there’s a tiny bit left that’s not on fire, but every single window is gutted,” he said. “There’s nothing left of it. The acrid smell is horrendous.”
— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) June 14, 2017
The London Ambulance Service sent out the following message via Twitter,
— London Ambulance (@Ldn_Ambulance) June 14, 2017
As of 4:30 AM local time the building was completely engulfed in flame.
— Tim Downie (@TimDownie1) June 14, 2017
As the debris continues to fall, buildings around Grenfell Tower have been to evacuate. People inside the adjacent structures have begun posting videos of the evacuation on social media.
The fire broke out around 1:00 AM in the 24-story apartment building housing 120 flats. More than 200 firefighters and 40 engines have spent more than 4 hours fighting the blaze. Nearby streets have been blocked off and adjacent buildings are being evacuated. Residents are urged to cover their mouths with a wet towel and escape as quickly as possible. As of now the cause of the fire is still unknown.
London mayor Sadiq Khan has declared the blaze a “major incident” and encouraged everyone to check the London Fire Brigade on Twitter for updates,
Major incident declared at Grenfell Tower in Kensington. 40 fire engines & 200 firefighters at the scene – follow @LondonFire for updates.
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) June 14, 2017
Victims of the Grenfall Tower blaze were ‘left to die’ in a building that was a ‘disaster waiting to happen’
From Daily Mail
Scotland Yard expects the death toll to rise expecting the true number could be ‘more than 50’ or even higher.
Today bodies were strewn through the charred block including in its lobby and undertakers were seen removing the dead in a delicate and treacherous recovery operation set to last several days.
A series of blunders are being blamed for the disaster with residents claiming there were no working fire alarms, no sprinklers and the only staircase leading to safety was blocked.
A community leader working to locate victims, who asked not to be named, believes nobody who lived on the top three residential floors survived and the building that was home to 600 people could soon collapse.
He said: ‘We have a list of missing people – there are so many. It’s possible there are more than 50, possibly hundreds’.
Those who managed to flee said it was ‘like hell on earth’ inside as they scrambled over dead bodies in scenes akin to 9/11.
Petrified residents were seen throwing themselves and their children out of windows to avoid being burned to death – others made ropes by tying bed sheets together or used them as makeshift parachutes and jumped.
The local council, the block’s landlord and the contractor used to refurbish the building last year face serious questions about how the fire took hold so quickly in a tower branded a ‘death trap’ by survivors.
Checks are to be carried out on tower blocks going through similar refurbishment to Grenfell Tower, policing and fire minister Nick Hurd has said.
With dozens now feared dead or missing and the tower’s management facing a possible gross negligence manslaughter case it has emerged:
Police have said it is not possible to confirm how many people are unaccounted for because the building is still on fire more than 12 hours after it started.”
UPDATE: 14th June, 2017, 5:05 (AM GMT+1) – People are believed to be still trapped inside the burning tower. Alice Ross reported the following account to The Guardian:
People can be seen at the windows, including one man waving a blanket from the window. People from neighbouring estates are huddled outside in their pyjamas near the flaming building, some shouting “put your head out the window” or calling the man with the blanket to shout his flat numbers so they can guide the fire services to him. Fire officers are spraying his window with water to try and douse the flames.
There’s a smell of acrid smoke and flaming debris is spiraling from the building. There’s the sound of breaking glass and dull pops.
“There was a woman with a child. I saw her waving maybe 30 minutes ago,” said a man who asked not to be named. “She said I’ve got a child … I saw them spraying her window.”
Hadil Alamily said in the past hour she saw “someone jump on fire from the top floor.” She had seen him flashing a light in an SOS pattern.
“He was screaming help, help, help but no one helped. He dashed a mattress out of the window. He was literally on fire and jumped.”