June 28, 2017
Latest News

Several people killed after huge blaze engulfs London tower block

London, Jun 14 (efe-epa).- Several people have died and over 50 people have been hospitalized after a huge fire ripped through a 24-story London apartment block early on Wednesday, according to emergency services.

Firefighters were alerted to the blaze at Grenfell Tower, an apartment block located in the neighborhood of Kensington, at around 1:00 am local time.

London fire commissioner Dany Cotton confirmed in a statement that a number of people are thought to have died: "I am very sad to confirm that there have been a number of fatalities. I cannot confirm the number at this time due to the size and complexity of this building. It would clearly be wrong for me to speculate further."

"In my 29 years of being a firefighter I have never ever seen anything of this scale," Cotton said.

She added that a structural engineer, who was on site to monitor the safety of the building, had for now ruled the tower block stable enough for firefighters to enter.

Images captured by epa confirmed that many of the apartments had been completely gutted by the blaze and much of the building's exterior was carbonized.

Plumes of smoke and steam continued to billow from Grenfell Tower.

Speaking to local media, councilor Nick Paget-Brown, who represents the area in which Grenfell Tower is located, said the tower block contains some 120 individual apartments, many of which house young families, meaning the number of people trapped by the blaze could run into the hundreds.

Some 200 firefighters and 40 fire trucks were deployed to the scene and emergency workers were battling to get the fire under control.

London's Ambulance Service said over 50 patients had been taken to five different hospitals across London following the blaze.

In a statement, LAS assistant director Stuart Crichton said: "over 100 of our medics are working hard to respond to this incident, including ambulance crews, advanced paramedics, advanced trauma teams from London's Air Ambulance and those staff managing the incident in our special operations centre."

Investigators were working to establish the cause of the blaze.

London's Metropolitan police, who also confirmed that there had been several fatalities, said that "a number of people" were being treated for a range of injuries and smoke inhalation, and that "residents were continuing to be evacuated" from the tower.

Police have closed off roads nearby and have asked people to avoid the area.

London Ambulance Service has sent over 20 ambulance crews to the scene.

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