London tower block fire leaves several dead, many trapped


Several persons have died in a huge fire that ripped through a west London tower block, with many residents still missing amid reports of people trapped in their homes.
At least 600 people were believed to have been inside 120 flats in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower when the fire began in the early hours of Wednesday morning. At least 30 injured people were taken to hospital, The Telegraph reported.
Residents who escaped spoke of others trapped and screaming for help, with some holding children from windows and others jumping from upper floors, the daily reported.
Pictures from the scene showed flames engulfing the block and a plume of smoke visible across the capital, while others showed residents looking out of windows in the block.
More than 200 firefighters were called to the block on the Lancaster West Estate, in north Kensington, at about 1.15 a.m.
Shortly before 8 a.m., 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 not known.
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.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement on Twitter that it was a "major incident".
Paul Munakr, who lives on the seventh floor, managed to escape. "As I was going down the stairs, there were firefighters, truly amazing firefighters that were actually going upstairs, to the fire, trying to get as many people out of the building as possible," he told the BBC.
Eyewitness Jody Martin said: "I watched one person falling out, I watched another woman holding her baby out the window…hearing screams."

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