Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Many Feared Dead As Massive Blaze 'Sparked By Faulty Fridge' Engulfs 27-Storey London Tower Block: Trapped Residents Hurl Themselves From Windows While Others Make Ropes From Sheets

More than 600 residents desperately tried to escape the flames as the fire broke out in the middle of the night, with many woken by the screams of others and the smell of burning plastic

Dozens are feared dead today after an inferno believed to have started when a fridge exploded ripped through a 27-storey west London tower block in just 15 minutes. Residents were seen throwing themselves and their children out of windows to avoid being burned to death - others made ropes by tying sheets together as fire engulfed Grenfell Tower in White City at 1am today. 

The trapped were heard begging for their lives while waving white towels, torches and mobile phones to attract the attention of the 200 firefighters who stormed the building. Those who managed to flee say there was no working fire alarm, sprinklers failed and the only staircase out was blocked. Dany Cotton, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, said there had been 'a number of fatalities' and 50 people are in hospital. Desperate survivors being cared for in several west London rescue shelters have seen sobbing as family and loved-ones, including dozens of children, remain unaccounted for.

Dany Cotton, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, said there had been 'a number of fatalities' following a 'unprecedented incident' that she described as the largest in scale that she had seen in her 29-year career

The heat was said to be so intense that firefighters (shown) were unable to get close to the building, which was built in 1974
The heat was said to be so intense that firefighters (shown) were unable to get close to the building, which was built in 1974

At least one resident is still stuck inside the block on the 11th floor, with firefighters still desperately trying to reach him
One witness said he saw several people jumping to their deaths from all floors to escape the fire. 
A survivor broke down on live TV as he said his neighbour on the fourth floor had confessed that his 'fridge had exploded' before fire swamped the building -  but the fire service told MailOnline it is too early to confirm the cause 

Several people have been confirmed dead after a huge inferno broke out at a residential tower block in West London (shown)
12.30am: Residents report smelling burning plastic at this time

12.54am: London Fire Brigade receive the first call

1am: First fire engines arrive at the scene in Grenfell Tower

1.16am: Police are called to attend the fire

3am: Some residents remain trapped inside with torches still being shone from windows - the sign the emergency services asked trapped residents to give

8am: Fire brigade admit there have been some fatalities 

8.30am: First indication that the fire was started by a faulty fridge 

9.30am: Structural engineers attend the site and state it is currently considered safe 

10.35am: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan gives a press conference promising to 'ask questions' about what happened in the fire 
Samira Lamrani, 38, said: 'He was just beside himself. He was just as surprised at how quickly the fire spread as anybody else.
'I could hear him saying that he contacted the emergency services immediately and they reassured him everything would be under control within a short period of time, and obviously it wasn't.' 
Firefighters have been battling the blaze for several hours and while the flames are slwoly being brought under control, there are fears the tower could collapse

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said questions will need to be answered over the safety of tower blocks in the capital as a result of the fire.
London Ambulance Service said 50 people have been rushed to five hospitals around the capital, while at least one resident is still stuck inside the block on the 11th floor, with firefighters desperately trying to reach him.
Those in the upper floors were seen flashing torches in a bid to call for help, tying bedding together to create makeshift ropes.
Panicked residents trapped high in the enormous tower were heard screaming for help as they leaned out of their windows and tied bed sheets together in an attempt to reach the ground.

Many of those evacuated said they were woken by screams, intense heat and the smell of burning plastic, thought to be white cladding that was installed on the building last year as part of a £10million refurbishment.
One woman said that residents faced 'either jumping out the window with their children and risk breaking bones or staying where you were and dying'. 

The fire is said to have spread from the second floor to the roof of the enormous 120-flat block in just 15 minutes, with 200 firefighters struggling to bring it under control.  
Eyewitness Tamara told BBC News: 'You could hear people screaming 'help me, help me'.
'There were people throwing their kids out [of windows], they were shouting 'save my children'. The fire brigade were telling people to stay where they were, they were telling people 'we'll come and get you'.' 
Hanan Wahabi, 39, who lives on the ninth floor, said she was awoken at about 1am by smoke.
A man (circled) looks from a window as smoke pours from a fire that has engulfed the 27-storey Grenfell Tower in west London
'I could see there was ash coming through the window in the living room, which was partially open,' she said, sitting with her husband and son, 16, and daughter, eight, outside a local community centre.
'I looked out and I could see the fire travelling up the block. It was literally by my window,' she said. 'I slammed the window shut and got out.'
After the family escaped, she called her brother, who lives on the 21st floor, to see if he was all right. 
'A mother on the top floor escaped with her six children. By the time she got to the bottom, she only had four with her': Residents give horrific eyewitness accounts
A woman with six children who was attempting to escape from the 21st floor of the London tower block fire this morning got to the bottom to discover two of them were missing, it has been claimed.

Dozens of horrific eyewitness accounts have begun to emerge from the 27-storey tower block fire in White City this morning, with residents claiming people are still stuck inside the building - which houses 600 people.

There have been a 'number of fatalities' at the fire at Grenfell Tower in west London, London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton has told reporters.

One resident described how people were 'just throwing their kids out' screaming 'save my children''.

Local resident Tamara told BBC News: 'Around 12.30/1am my mum called me and said there was a fire outside. By the time I got there the whole right side of the building was on fire, the whole thing was engulfed in flames.

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