Hospitalized As Fire Rages In London Apartment Block

Nick Mcbride
June 14, 2017

A huge fire engulfed a 27-storey block of flats in central London on Wednesday injuring a number of people and possibly trapping some residents inside the towering inferno, reported Reuters.

Rescuers in London are working to get residents out of a 27-story apartment tower that is engulfed in a massive fire.

Nassima Boutrig told The Associated Press reports: "We saw the people screaming", she said.

Local reports cited witnesses as saying they saw people jumping from the building to escape the fire and they heard screams for help as well.

Heavy smoke is still billowing into the air, flames still raging nearly five hours after police received the first report of the fire.

More than 200 firefighters were called to the block on the Lancaster West Estate, in north Kensington, at about 1.15 a.m.

Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton called it an "unprecedented incident" unlike anything she had seen in her 29-year career as a firefighter.

"The potential for a fire to break out in the communal area on the walkway does not bear thinking about as residents would be trapped in the building with no way out", it said. A "significant number of people" remain unaccounted for.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan referred to the fire as a "major incident".

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At St. Clement's Church, where evacuees from neighboring buildings gathered, Hadra Hassad was trying to find one of her closest friends, who lived on the 21st floor.

Residents have described seeing people flashing their mobile phone lights at the top of the building to try to get the attention of emergency services.

"It's the most terrifying thing I've ever seen".

Online video showed flames racing up the building as police and fire crews arrived.

Residents are reporting that no fire alarms sounded in the block.

Khan says in a statement "there will be a great many questions over the coming days as to the cause of this tragedy and I want to reassure Londoners that we will get all the answers". As the fire got higher, then they made a decision to use the ladders.

Stuart Crighton, London Ambulance Service assistant director of operations, said: "We have sent a number of resources to the scene including our hazardous area response team and over 20 ambulance crews".

"Crews wearing breathing apparatus and extended duration breathing apparatus have been working in extremely challenging and very hard conditions to rescue people and bring this major fire under control".

Other reports by VgToday

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