Wednesday, 14 June 2017

6 dead, over 50 hospitalised as London Grenfell Tower goes up in flames

At least six people have been reported died and more than 50 hospitalized after a huge fire raged through the night at  24-storey Grenfell Tower on the Lancaster West estate in north Kensington, London.

Eyewitnesses described people trapped in the burning Tower, screaming for help and yelling for their children to be saved.

Firefighters have rescued large numbers, but London a lot of people are still unaccounted for.

The 24-storey block, which is still on fire, looks at risk of collapsing.
During the night, eyewitnesses said they saw lights - thought to be mobile phones or torches - flashing at the top of the block of flats, and trapped residents coming to their windows - some holding children.

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said the cause of the fire was not yet known and it was too early to speculate on the building, although it was structurally safe enough for her crews to be working inside.

“This is an unprecedented incident. In my 29 years of being a firefighter I have never ever seen anything of this scale. Firefighters are working very hard at the moment.

“This is a major fire that affected all floors of this 24-storey building from the second floor upwards. I have over 200 of my firefighters and officers attending this incident, with 40 fire engines and a range of specialist vehicles, including 14 fire rescue units. We declared this a major incident very early this morning … the first call coming in at 12.54. Our first fire engines were on the scene in under six minutes.

“Crews wearing breathing apparatus and extended duration breathing apparatus have been working in extremely challenging and very difficult conditions to rescue people and bring this major fire under control," Cotton said.

By mid-morning, the building looked to be just smoking ruins but the fire has again taken hold, and cladding is falling to the ground.

 200 fire fighters and forty fire engines were reportedly sent to tackle the blaze through the early morning.

About 30 flats in the surrounding area have been evacuated and emergency rest centres have been set up for those told to leave their homes.

Children in the area are being given masks to combat the smoke which is choking the local atmosphere

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