- Six confirmed dead and death toll will rise after huge inferno broke out at a residential tower block in London
- Dozens including children and elderly still missing after fire engulfed Grenfell Tower in White City at 1am
- Many residents believed to still be trapped inside the 27-storey building as it teeters on the brink of collapse
- Residents were seen throwing themselves and their children out of windows to avoid being burned to death
- More than 600 residents desperately tried to escape the flames as the fire broke out in the middle of the night
- Surivors claimed there was no working fire alarm, sprinklers failed and the only staircase out was blocked
- The London Ambulance Service said 50 people have been rushed to five different hospitals around the capital
- Grenfell’s residents warned landlord KCTMO about ‘appalling’ fire safety and say refurb contributed to blaze
- Send your photos and videos of the fire at Grenfell Tower in White City to firstname.lastname@example.org
The fire that swept through a 27-storey west London tower block in just 15 minutes after a fridge exploded could be one of the worst in British history amid fears nobody on its top three floors survived.
Six people are known to have died after fire engulfed Grenfell Tower in White City after 1am today but Scotland Yard says the death toll is expected to rise significantly.
Bodies strewn through the charred block including in its lobby and undertakers were seen removing the dead in a recovery operation set to last several days.
A community leader working to locate victims, who asked not to be named, believes nobody who lived on the top three residential floors survived and the building could collapse in the next 24 hours.
He said: ‘We have a list of missing people – there are so many. It’s possible there are more than 50, possibly hundreds’.
Those who managed to flee said it was ‘like hell on earth’ inside as they scrambled over dead bodies and claimed there was no working fire alarm, sprinklers failed and the only staircase out was blocked.
At the height of the blaze petrified residents were seen throwing themselves and their children out of windows to avoid being burned to death – others made ropes by tying bed sheets together or used them as makeshift parachutes and jumped.
The local council, the block’s landlord and the contractor used to refurbish the building last year face serious questions about how the fire took hold so quickly in a tower branded a ‘death trap’ by survivors.
With dozens now feared dead or missing it has emerged:
- At least six people have died, 74 are in six London hospitals including 20 in a critical condition after Grenfell Tower blaze started at 1am;
- Dozens more are feared dead or missing with one source claiming total could run into the hundreds. The Casualty Bureau number is 0800 0961 233;
- Trapped residents begged to be rescued while waving white towels, torches and mobile phones after being urged to stay in their flats;
- Petrified people were seen throwing themselves and their children out of windows – a baby tossed from the ‘9th or tenth floor’ was caught and survived;
- 200 firefighters with 40 engines needed to tackle ‘unprecedented’ blaze – residents claim that fire alarms didn’t work, sprinklers failed and only stairwell used as exit was blocked;
- Residents gave repeated warnings about ‘appalling’ fire safety to landlord Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO), whose four bosses earned £650,000 between them last year;
- New plastic rain-proof cladding encasing the building in £10million refurbishment ‘went up like a match’ and helped fire spread quickly from fourth floor to 27th floor – although the contractor insists it was safe;
- Dozens of similar blocks from the 1960s and 1970s refurbished in recent years have the same or similar new cladding;
- Local community including celebrities bring food and clothes to crisis centres while others offer the now-homeless places to stay;
Police have said it is not possible to confirm how many people are unaccounted for because the building is still on fire more than 12 hours after it started.
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Police would not confirm how many people are unaccounted for because the building is still on fire 12 hours after it started (pictured this after) – six are known to be dead but the toll is likely to be much highter
There are real fears that that nobody who lived on the top three residential floors may have survived the unprecedented fire
A brave firefighter is pictured inside the burnt remains of the 27-storey building, as efforts are made to investigate what caused the blaze
A body wrapped up in a blanket, obscured by MailOnline, lies in the ground floor of the White City tower block largely destroyed by fire over night
Undertakers remove bodies from Grenfell Tower today but the recovery of the dead is likely to take several more days as the fire is still not out
A drone inspects the top floors of the wrecked tower block, where residents on the highest storeys are all feared dead
Firefighters continue to battle large scale blaze in London tower block more than 14 hours after it broke out on the fourth floor
Emergency services are still running through falling debris including glass and its controversial cladding continues to rain down
Many residents who gathered outside the smoldering ruins of the building said the fire had been caused by a faulty fridge in one of the flats, but the fire service told MailOnline it could not confirm the reports at this stage
The trapped, some of whom are still inside, were heard begging for their lives while waving white towels, torches and mobile phones
The 27-storey Grenfell building, which was built in 1974 but refurbished last year, has an average of six flats per floor lived in by council tenants and a smaller number of private owners or tenants