Dozens are feared dead today after an inferno started when a fridge exploded ripped through a 27-storey London tower block now on the verge of collapse. Families were forced to ‘beg for their lives’ as they tried to escape the blaze, while several people are still trapped inside the 27-storey building as it teeters on the brink of collapse. Grenfell Tower in Latimer Road, White City, is currently ‘lurching’ to one side after a ‘very, very severe fire’ broke out in the early hours of Wednesday morning, with those inside claiming a fire alarm failed to sound.
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. As residents flooded the streets outside the building, many spoke of members of their family or close neighbours being unaccounted for, as they were forced to watch on as their home and all their belongings went up in flames. A woman who volunteers at one of the local community centres where residents are being taken said dozens of children remain unaccounted for, as separated families desperately try to reunite with their loved ones.
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Many residents who gathered outside the smoldering ruins of the building said the fire had been caused by a faulty fridge in one of the flats, but the fire service told MailOnline it could not confirm the reports at this stage. One neighbour said he saw people jumping from up to 15 floors up to escape the fire, while there were screams of joy and a relief as a five-year-old girl was pulled from the flames by emergency services. 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.
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.Watch Video:
Huge fire broken out at Grenfell Tower on Latimer Road in West London! 😨 https://t.co/QgldtjwMl5
— Ali (@Ali_Givenchy) June 14, 2017
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