Several people have died after a huge fire ripped through a west London tower block, with many still missing after residents were left trapped on upper floors as flames tore rapidly up the building.
Up to 600 people are believed to have been inside 120 flats in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower when the outbreak began. At least 50 injured people were taken to hospital – it is unclear how many managed to get out safely.
Residents who escaped spoke of others trapped and screaming for help, with some throwing children from windows and others jumping from upper floors. Some were reported to have attempted to use bin bags as makeshift parachutes.
Pictures showed flames engulfing the block and a plume of smoke visible across the capital, while others showed desperate residents looking out of windows in the block.
In a sign of hope, survivors were still reportedly being pulled from the block nine hours after the blaze started.
As an investigation into the cause of the fire began, residents reported that fire alarms had not sounded and that they were told to “stay put” in their flats. Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said “questions need to be answered as soon as possible”.
Nick Paget-Brown, the leader of Kensington and Chelsea Borough, said “several hundred” people would have been in the block when the fire broke out. A “significant number of people” remain unaccounted for.
More than 200 firefighters were called to the block on the Lancaster West Estate, in north Kensington, at about 1.15am.
London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton confirmed that there have been a “number of fatalities” in the “unprecedented incident”. She said the cause of the blaze was unknown.
These are photos and video from the unfortunate incident.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) June 14, 2017