BREAKING NEWS: Grenfell Tower Fire Claims Lives
It was in the early hours of this morning (around 1am) that a huge blaze engulfed Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, London. The fast spreading fire is said to have claimed several lives with alleged reports of people jumping from the higher floors of the buildings.
London Ambulance says that 50 people are being treated in hospital and London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said there had been "a number of fatalities" but could not say how many because of the "size and complexity" of the building. The 24 story building containing 120 flats at it is believed there would have been over 700 people inside the block when the fire started. Eyewitnesses have reported that they saw lights - thought to be mobile phones or torches - flashing at the top of the flats, with trapped residents coming to their windows. Shocking images have also been release showing residents of the tower desperately shouting down to onlookers below with some even lashing bed sheets together in a bid to reach the ground.
One witness, Samira, told BBC News: "It escalated really quickly. Around midnight the fire was only around the third floor and then, before you know it, the whole 23 floors of the building were all on fire and there were people screaming for help and throwing kids out.
"I think everyone felt really helpless because no-one could get to them. Everyone was really scared and they didn't know what to do and it was really sad to see. These are all people that we grew up with and people that we see every day, like our neighbours.
"There was a lot of people there - children, elderly people and disabled people; my family members, who thankfully made it out. But there are still a lot of people who are unaccounted for."
The Met Police has set up an emergency number on 0800 0961 233 for anyone concerned about friends or family.
Image credit @ElisabethSteyn