The death toll from the Grenfell Tower fire has risen to 12, with police warning more should be expected as they work through the aftermath of yesterday’s deadly blaze.
More than 200 firefighters worked through the night to try and control the fire, which is being called the “deadliest in a generation”.
The London police commander Stuart Cundy has told the media that he did not believe that further survivors would be found within the building.
The blaze was still burning, 16 hours after first lighting up the 24 storey building. Steve Apter from the London Fire Brigade said tha thte fire would be subject to a full investigation. “Any lessons learnt from this will be borne out not just across London, across theUK – and lessons learnt globally,” he said.
Mr Apter said that crews had rescued 65 people from the building, and firefighters were able to search most of the building including the top floor.
18 people are being treated in a critical condition in hospital.
Eye witnesses have told the media of people leaping out of windows. Others reported seeing parents throwing children out their window, including a baby, in the hopes that they would be saved.
Emergency services are saying that it is still too early to determine what caused the blaze.
London Tower on Fire
A London apartment block has been engulfed in flames, injuring numerous people and possibly trapping residents inside.
The BBC reports that more than 200 fire-fighters are still tackling the blaze at the Grenfell Tower in north Kensington. Eyewitnesses say that many people were trapped inside and unable to escape, reportedly hearing screams and seeing torches flashing on the upper levels.
London Ambulance had said that 30 people are receiving hospital treatment.
Paramedics arrive with oxygen as a huge fire engulfs the Grenfell Tower early June 14, 2017 in west London.
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has declared a major incident. The tower can be seen burning from miles away, with the building burning out of control from the tenth floor onwards.
Police have set up cordons around the building, pushing back members of the public for fears that the building might collapse.
London Fire Bridge assistant commissioner Dan Daly said that fire-fighters were “working extremely hard in very difficult conditions to tackle this fire.” “This is a large and very serious incident and we have deployed numerous resources and specialist appliances.”
The first reports of the fire came in just before 1am local time.
The building is managed by the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management organisation on behalf of the council, and recently underwent a £10 million refurbishment including a new communal heating system.
The cause of the fire is as yet unknown. However, a blog post written by the Grenfell Action Group in January last year warned of an impending fire. “It has been very clear for some time to the residents of Grenfell Tower that those responsible for ensuring the smooth running of Lancaster West Estate are failing in their duty of care and wilfully allowing our residential amenity to decline in unacceptable ways,” reads the post.
Of particular concern was the landlord’s failure to remove rubbish and other items that were collecting at the entrance/exit to the Tower. “This matter is of particular concern as there is only one entry and exit to Grenfell Tower during the Improvement Works and the potential for a fire to break out in the communal area on the walkway does not bear thinking about as residents would be trapped in the building with no way out!”
More on this story as it unfolds.