England was hit with two terrorist attacks in the space of two months. First, at the Manchester Arena, and then recently at London Bridge where there were multiple casualties.
When one thinks that England cannot suffer any more, comes a fire in Notting Hill, London, where 12 persons perished and many more are missing.
At least 12 people have been killed as a huge blaze turned a 27-storey tower block into an inferno in the early hours of Wednesday morning in Notting Hill, London, England.
Hundreds of people were in Grenfell Tower as the fire, which is thought to have started on the third or fourth floor soon after midnight, destroyed flat after flat, the London Evening Standard reported on Wednesday.
People reportedly leapt from the tower as others, trapped inside, desperately tried to make ropes from sheets or used lights on their phones to signal for help from windows and the roof.
The initial death toll was put at six, but Met Police Commander Stuart Cundy said it had risen to 12, with fears it will increase further.
Emergency services staff have now searched the entire devastated building.
As firefighters continued to battle the blaze today, witnesses said a baby was caught by members of the public after being dropped from a window on the “ninth or 10th floor”.
Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said about 250 firefighters using 40 engines had tackled the flames.
Police added that it was set to be “some time” before victims could be identified.
NHS England added that a total of 79 people are being treated in hospital, with 18 of those critically injured.
Sixteen patients were taken in a critical condition to St Mary’s hospital.
More rushed to the scene as the severity of the fire became apparent.
About 100 police officers and a similar number of medical staff — including specialist trauma teams — also attended to help victims and ensure that residents and onlookers were not hit by falling debris. Nearby roads were cordoned off.
Resident Mickey Paramasivan, who was woken in his seventh-floor flat by a smell of burning plastic, said he had witnessed awful scenes as he escaped with his girlfriend and daughter.
“I opened the front door, there’s smoke everywhere, there’s all neighbours running out. ‘Get down the stairs’ they’re shouting.
“If we had stayed in that flat we’d have perished. It spread like wildfire because it [the tower] was covered in cladding. The smoke alarm was useless. I could only hear it in the hallway, not in the flat. It was horrendous.
“There were kids screaming up at windows, smashing windows, explosions going off — I’ve never seen anything like it.
“There were people who were lost, people who can’t find their families. There was one woman on the 12th floor, she’s left with her six kids, when she’s got to the ground floor there’s only four of them with her.
Commissioner Cotton said she could not say how many people had died because of the “size and complexity” of the tower.
“This is an unprecedented incident,” she told reporters. “In my 29 years of being a firefighter, I have never seen anything of this scale.”
She said her crews had “rescued large numbers of people, very early on across a range of floors” and that firefighters had “been up as far as the 19th and 20th floors”.