Massive fire engulfs high-rise in west London, killing residents


PUBLISHED Tue, June 13, 2017 - 11:50pm EDT
Credit: @Natalie_Oxford


A massive fire has engulfed a 24-story apartment building in west London, killing an unknown number of people and injuring at least 50 others, officials and witnesses say. The cause of the blaze was not immediately known.





-- To watch local TV coverage of the fire, click here --

The incident began at 12:54 a.m. on Wednesday when firefighters were called to reports of a fire at the Grenfell Tower in north Kensington. The fire spread rapidly, engulfing nearly the entire building from the second to the top floor.

Witnesses said multiple people were still trapped in the burning building as of 5 a.m., though it remains unclear how many residents may have been unable to escape. Videos at the scene of the inferno showed at least two people who were trapped in separate apartments.

"Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus are working extremely hard in very difficult conditions to tackle this fire," said Assistant Commissioner Dan Daly of the London Fire Brigade. "This is a large and very serious incident and we have deployed numerous resources and specialist appliances."

At least 200 firefighters, 40 fire trucks, and 100 medics were called to the scene.

"This is an unprecedented incident. In my 29 years of being a firefighter, I have never, ever, seen anything of this scale," London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said just before 8 a.m. "I'm very sad to confirm that there have been a number of fatalities. I cannot confirm the number at this time due to the size and complexity of this building."

In addition to fatalities, Stuart Crichton, the Assistant Director of Operations at the London Ambulance Service, said more than 50 injured people had been taken to 5 London hospitals. "We have declared a major incident and continue to work closely with other emergency services at the scene," he said.

Crichton added: "We have over 20 ambulance crews at the scene as well as our hazardous area response team and trauma teams from London's air ambulance who traveled to the scene by car. Our priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries and ensure those in the most need are treated first and taken to hospital."

Sky News reported that police have told people who hear from those trapped inside the building to urge them to self-evacuate and to not wait for help. It came amid fears that the apartment building could potentially collapse and some witnesses said they had received calls from those trapped inside.

During the night, numerous witnesses said they saw multiple people being forced to jump from the burning building, although authorities have yet to confirm that. Footage from the scene showed at least several people standing behind windows, trying to signal for help as the fires spread around them.

The cause of the blaze is still unknown, Cotton said.

This is a breaking news alert. Please check back or follow @BNONews on Twitter as details become available. If you want to receive breaking news alerts by email, click here to sign up. You can also like BNO News on Facebook by clicking here.





  London, England     

 



LEAVE COMMENTS



.

 


Happening Now

1 dead, several injured in Kentucky high school shooting

Powerful earthquake strikes the Gulf of Alaska, prompts tsunami warning

Indonesia earthquake: 6.1 tremor strikes southwest of Jakarta

Man arrested for threatening to kill CNN employees

Gunmen storm Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, take hostages





BNO NEWS RADIO


Listen to "BNO News - Breaking News Radio" on Spreaker.




SIGN-UP BREAKING ALERTS



Just want the important news? Sign up now for the fastest email alerts from BNO News. Click here to get started!




LIVE WIRE


1 dead, several injured in Kentucky high school shooting

Powerful earthquake strikes the Gulf of Alaska, prompts tsunami warning

Indonesia earthquake: 6.1 tremor strikes southwest of Jakarta

Man arrested for threatening to kill CNN employees

Gunmen storm Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, take hostages





VIDEOS


Gunfire heard after North Korean soldier flees to South

West Virginia Amber Alert: Nicole Hall abducted from Lewisburg

Key Virginia House race ends in tie, to be determined at random

U.S. FCC votes to repeal net neutrality rules

Rock star Johnny Hallyday, the ‘French Elvis,’ dead at 74