UPDATE 5:00PM AEST | COUNTLESS people have perished in a catastrophic fire which has engulfed a high-rise apartment building in West London, authorities have confirmed.
London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton confirmed the devastating update while speaking to media at the scene a short time ago. At least 30 people are being treated in five different hospitals across the city.
“In 29 years of being a firefighter, I have never ever seen anything of this scale,” Cotton said.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
“This is a major fire which has affected all floors of this 24-storey building from the second floor upwards.
“At this time, I am very sad to confirm that there have been a number of fatalities.
“I can not confirm the number at this time due to the size and complexity of this building.”
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) June 14, 2017
UPDATE 4:40PM AEST | AT least 30 people are in hospital and a “significant number” of residents remain unaccounted for following a ferocious fire which has ripped through a high-rise apartment building in West London.
The blaze broke out inside the Grenfell Tower in North Kensington just before 1am local time on Wednesday.
Within an hour, the blaze had spread from the second floor of the building to the very top of the council-owned tower, which is at least 24-storeys high and contains 120 apartments. Videos below.
More than 40 fire trucks and 200 firefighters were deployed to the scene. They’ve been fighting the inferno for more than six hours now.
London apartment block fire eyewitness says the fire spread quickly & he saw people in the building shouting for help & jumping from windows pic.twitter.com/S3n2S7x0Tt
— CNN (@CNN) June 14, 2017
The London Ambulance Service says it has transported at least 30 people from the scene to five different hospitals across the city.
The patients are believed to be suffering from various injuries, many with smoke inhalation, others with burns.
There are grave fears many residents have perished in the catastrophe, with dozens of people still missing.
Countless people could be heard screaming for help from the tower’s top floors, while others could be seen dangling from window ledges and using sheet-ropes to climb down the side of the building.
The severity of the fire appears to have slightly eased, with the building smoldering, now seen to be producing more smoke than flames.
It has since been revealed that the building, which was first built in 1974, had recently undergone a major multi-million dollar refurbishment which included covering the outside of the tower in cladding.
It’s understood the building’s residents penned a letter to council 18 months ago, complaining about the potential fire risk, citing faulty wiring.
— 7 News Queensland (@7NewsQueensland) June 14, 2017
FIRST: CHILLING screams have been heard coming from residents trapped in a burning apartment tower in West London.
Hundreds of firefighters are battling the blaze which appears to have consumed every floor of the 24-storey Grenfell Tower on Latimer Road in White City, North Kensington. See the videos below.
It’s understood the blaze broke out on one side of the building on the second floor just before 1am local time on Wednesday but quickly took hold and spread to the top of the tower.
It’s now 4.20am in London and the fire continues to burn ferociously, all but gutting the high-rise building.
Authorities are pushing people back from the area with fears the building may soon collapse. Debris has been raining down from the tower for at least an hour.
There are fears many of the building’s 200 residents may still be trapped inside the tower, with reports of “haunting screams” heard coming from inside the burning structure.
Witnesses have reported seeing some people flashing torches from the top floors, while many others have been seen tying bed sheets together and using them to scale down the side of the burning building.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.
Grenfell Tower on fire outside my flat. Never experienced such terror in my life. Hope everyone is safe. pic.twitter.com/x5gJin5Ltl
— Xeni R (@xensxr) June 14, 2017
— news.com.au (@newscomauHQ) June 14, 2017
— Herald Sun (@theheraldsun) June 14, 2017
— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) June 14, 2017