Several people dead in mass blaze at London tower block

Several people dead in mass blaze at London tower block

Residents said repairs, including the addition of some sort of cladding, had been made to the exterior of the block recently. Others said they could see people inside using flashlights and mobile phones to try to signal for help from higher floors.

Police, fire and ambulance crews raced to Grenfell Tower, part of the Lancaster West housing estate about a mile northwest of Kensington Palace, said the report. "But there are still a lot of people who are unaccounted for".

The fire has been declared a "major incident" by London authorities.

"I've personally witnessed a few people dying tonight".

More than 200 firefighters are tackling a massive blaze at a block of flats, with reports of people trapped in their homes.

"Somebody did, a gentleman ran forward and managed to grab the baby". The blaze covers a city block. I can not say how many at this time. "I hope they've got everyone out". He says there was heavy smoke in the hallway and he couldn't find the stairs.

"One year ago the council renovated the building both externally and internally", Sha said.

The Grenfell Action Group, a community organization formed to oppose a nearby redevelopment project, has been warning about the risk of fire there since 2013.

Eyewitnesses said they saw lights - thought to be mobile phones or torches - flashing at the top of the block of flats, and trapped residents coming to their windows.

Ms Boutrig said her friend's brother, wife and children lived in the building and that her friend was waiting to find out if they were OK. "At this time I am sad to confirm that we now know that there have been fatalities".

She told reporters: "This is an unprecedented incident". She says firefighters are still working and she can't say how many people may have died. Thirty others have been taken to five hospitals.

Others searched for information at makeshift centers set up at churches and recreation centers. Officials did not have any information to give her. Chaos, chaos, so many people are still in there.

"We can see how quick the fire spreads via the external panels".

He described how he'd seen "people inside the apartments waving bits of cloth, flashing phones and slowly those apartments are getting engulfed in smoke and then getting engulfed in flames".

The cause of the fire, which broke out just before 1 a.m. (0000 GMT), was not known, the Fire Brigade said. I have over 200 of my firefighters and officers attending this incident, with 40 fire engines and a range of specialist vehicles, including 14 fire rescue units.

The London Ambulance Service has confirmed that 50 have been injured.

Cotton also said crews had only reached as far as the 19th and 20th floors of the building so far. An updated figure was not available.

"As I was going down the stairs, there were firefighters, truly unbelievable firefighters that were actually going upstairs, to the fire, trying to get as many people out of the building as possible", he told the BBC.

London Ambulance said it had sent a "number of resources" to the scene, including its Hazardous Area Response Team. "Someone started banging on my door saying there's a fire and to get out", a woman called Zoe told the BBC.

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