Firefighters were on a rescue mission after fire razed a block of flats in west London, with reports of people trapped in their homes.
More than 200 firefighters with forty fire engines were at the scene of the inferno which occurred at the Grenfell Tower on the Lancaster West Estate. The fire was reported at 01:16BST. The Metropolitan Police confirmed that several people were being treated for “a range of injuries” and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said on Twitter,” a major incident” had been declared.
In a statement posted on Facebook, assistant commissioner Dan Daly said: “Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus are working extremely hard in very difficult conditions to tackle this fire. This is a large and very serious incident and we have deployed numerous resources and specialist appliances.”
An eyewitness said she saw “someone jump on fire from the top floor”. She had seen the man flashing a light in an SOS pattern. “He was screaming help, help, help but no one helped. He dashed a mattress out of the window. He was literally on fire and jumped.”
A correspondent for the BBC said: “We’ve seen debris falling from the building, we’ve heard explosions, we’ve heard the sound of glass breaking.
“The police keep pushing back their cordons, pushing back members of the public for fear the building might collapse.”
Specially trained London Ambulance Service medical officials were also on ground to salvage the situation.
Another eyewitness, the presenter of Channel 4 TV program Amazing Spaces, George Clarke, told reporters: “I’m getting covered in ash, that’s how bad it is.
“I was 100 meters away and I’m absolutely covered in ash.
“It’s so heartbreaking, I’ve seen someone flashing their torches at the top level and they obviously can’t get out.”