Massive fire at highrise housing block in London; many feared dead

London, June 14

A massive blaze on Wednesday engulfed a 24-storey residential tower in west London, killing a “number” of people and injuring several others, the Fire Brigade chief said.

At least 30 people have been injured in the fire, which engulfed all floors from the second to the top of the Grenfell Tower, where several hundred people lived.”At this time I am 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,” Dany Cotton, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade told reporters.

The fire at Grenfell Tower on the Lancaster West Estate in Latimer Road was reported at 01:16 local time.

More than 200 firefighters were still tackling the blaze at the tower, where hundreds of people are thought to live.

London Ambulance said 30 people were receiving hospital treatment.

People screamed for help as the fire took hold of the building. Some residents were seen using bedsheets to make their escape from the tower block. Those inside were urged not to panic.

Stuart Crighton, London Ambulance Service assistant director of operations, said: “We have sent a number of resources to the scene including our hazardous area response team and over 20 ambulance crews.

“Our priority (is) to get people to safety and ensure they receive the medical help as quickly as possible,” Crighton said.

The area around Grenfell Tower is home to a large number of Muslims. Many were awake at the time the fire broke out having their early morning meal before beginning the daily fast for the holy month of Ramzan.

“It has burned through to its very core. It looks very bad, very very bad. I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s just such a big fire. The whole building is just crumbling.

It’s just billowing black smoke,” an eyewitness told the BBC.

—PTI

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