At least six dead after massive fire engulfs London tower block

  • At least six dead after massive fire engulfs London tower block

At least six dead after massive fire engulfs London tower block

London Fire Brigade said shortly after 5pm (1600 GMT, 12am Wednesday Malaysia) the fire was still burning, more than 16 hours after the alarm was raised.

"I could hear the people screaming "help me", and nothing could be done".

◆ Why Did Fire Spread so Quickly?

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A local residents' group said it had predicted such a catastrophe on their low-rent housing estate that overlooks affluent parts of the Kensington area of the capital, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan said there were questions to answer.

An emergency number has also been established for friends and family who are anxious for loved ones, known to be residents in the building.

"By the time that we got downstairs, the fire had gone all the way up and it was just about reaching our windows on the 17th floor".

It's been reported that 200 firefighters and 40 engines were at the scene trying to put out the blaze.

The group had alleged that the residents of Grenfell Tower did not receive any proper fire safety instructions from the KCTMO.

Refurbishment of the housing block had been completed past year and the Fire Brigades Union said something had gone badly wrong with fire prevention procedures at the building.

Jamie Oliver has offered those affected by the huge fire at west London's Grenfell Tower free food, drink and shelter at his nearby restaurant.

The emergency services said it was too early to say what had caused the inferno, which left the block a charred, smoking shell.

"I sat there watching my house burn down and watching people cry for help who couldn't come down", she said.

Others said they saw children being thrown from as high as the 15th floor.

Former resident David Collins said he had lived in the block for two and a half years and had never experienced an evacuation drill during that time.

Nassima Boutrig, who lives opposite the building, said she was awakened by sirens and smoke so thick that it filled her home as well.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the blaze, but the Grenfell Action Group has been warning about the risk of fire at Grenfell Tower since 2013.

Ashin Sha, who was with his aunt on the second floor, told the Evening Standard that residents were luckily awoken by Muslims observing Ramadan - after the smoke alarms inside the building failed to go off.

"We were told that the "go inside and wait" policy (in the event of a fire) was absolutely right", Blakeman said.

"The fire will mainly be picked up by Protector's reinsurance program and will, from what we know at the moment, have negligible influence on Protector's net Q2 and 2017 full-year results", the Oslo, Norway-based insurer said in its statement.

Management of the tower was passed from the council to the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation in 1996 after the tenants and leaseholders voted to manage their own homes.

The fire broke out at around 12:45 am when many people living inside the tower were fast asleep.

British Prime Minister Theresa May called a cross-government meeting yesterday, chaired by Policing and Fire Minister Nick Hurd, to coordinate the government response.

"Any lessons learned from the investigation into today's Grenfell Tower fire will be incorporated into planning arrangements for dealing with incidents at high-rise properties".