Death toll in London highrise inferno rises to 12

Twelve people have died following a fire which ripped through a 24-storey housing block in west London.

London police said they expected the death toll to rise, with up to 600 people thought to have been inside Grenfell Towers 120 flats.

More than 200 firefighters, backed up by 40 fire engines, fought for hours yesterday morning to try to bring the Grenfell Tower block blaze – the deadliest in a generation – under control.


Witnesses reported seeing a baby thrown out a window to safety to avoid the horror inside. As many gathered outside evacuation centres to await news of loved ones, they reported people following official advice to stay inside, unaware of the true extent of the danger unfolding.

Witnesses reported not hearing smoke alarms in the building until they were manually started by fire services. Lack of access to the building due to narrow roads and gas works in the area were also cited by locals as complicating firefighting efforts.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said firefighters were only able to reach the 12th floor and pledged to get to the bottom of whether the response was adequate and residents were at risk.

“The reason why it should be such a big concern for all of us is that there are many tower blocks across London and across the country,” he said.

The block had recently undergone an $11 million upgrade to modernise the exterior, which is believed to have met all required building control, fire regulation, and health and safety standards.”