A 27-storey apartment block in west London was engulfed in flames in the early hours of Wednesday. Many residents are still trapped inside the building as around 200 firefighters battle the flames.
The fire broke out in the middle of the night in the second floor of the building known as Grenfell Tower. Within 15 minutes the flames reached the top, making the building look like a huge burning torch from afar.
Witnesses said that the fire alarm failed to sound. Reports indicate that the residents of the building had complained about fire safety issues earlier but no action was taken.
The building is located on Latimer Road in White City. The fire has totally destroyed the structure and the building is now on the brink of collapse.
Since the building has only one entry and exit, authorities fear for the worst – an untold number of residents dead in the inferno.
— Mark Ashley (@themarkashley) June 14, 2017
If it’s true there were no sprinklers & no fire alarms & no fire evac drills in a tenanted building that’s basically murder #londonfire
— smallpocalypse (@Ahhmandah) June 14, 2017
Some residents were seen desperately trying to escape the flames. While a few waved clothes to signal the rescuers, at least one of them was seen jumping off from one of the upper floors.
The building has 120 flats. Authorities reportedly said that nearly all residents up to the 11th floor have been rescued by firefighters.
London Mayor Sadi Khan tweeted:
Major incident declared at Grenfell Tower in Kensington. 40 fire engines & 200 firefighters at the scene – follow @LondonFire for updates.
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— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) June 14, 2017
Many on Twitter shared videos of the burning tower:
— شناشيل (@treadsilver) June 14, 2017
— Amina (@SociallyHowell) June 14, 2017
Authorities have confirmed that six of the residents are dead while 70 are being treated for injuries and smoke inhalation. Many are still to be found in the charred remains of the building which, mercifully, is still standing.
There is no confirmation on what exactly caused the fire, though a resident reportedly said that an explosion was heard.