It’s feared that hundreds of people will have been killed by the time Grenfell Tower stops burning in West London.
Reports so far say that 78 people have been taken to hospital, 18 of whom are fighting for their lives in critical condition, after as approximately 600 residents made a desperate escape from a blaze that broke out in one of the apartments of the huge building around 1 a.m. Wednesday. The fire is reportedly being blamed on a faulty refrigerator, according to the Daily Mail.
The tower is currently engulfed in a swirling mass of black smoke more than 24 hours later as videos about the tragedy get posted on social media sites. Survivors, witnesses and first responders are telling heartbreaking stories of how they had to flee and even throw their young children out of windows in hope of sparing their lives.
The Daily Mail has just published photos of the disaster, documenting “blown-out windows, melted kitchen tables and washing machines stopped mid-load. Blackened hand prints can be seen on the stairwell walls, streams of water are captured flooding the hallways and prized possessions can be seen abandoned on the ground after the desperate scramble for safety.”
Local painter Hassan Kaissi, 42, shot a video after helping firefighters find residents trapped in the blaze for five-and-a-half hours. “When I arrived, I saw a friend of mine by the cordon and had heard that the family of some friends were inside the building,” he recalled, adding, “I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do something to help so I decided to climb over the railings.
“I saw the doorway to Grenfell Towers open so I went into the building. People were screaming everywhere. I went to climb the stairs but a fireman told me not to, that he’d just have to rescue me too, so I didn’t go in. Two minutes later a piece of debris fell exactly where I was standing,” he said.
Firefighters are currently searching what remains of the tower, which housed 600 people, for victims and they have yet to search the upper floors of the building, where no one is said to have survived.
“Rescuers say there are still ‘unknown numbers’ of people dead inside, but at the moment it is too risky to try to recover them from the upper floors of the fire-ravaged and unstable Grenfell Tower,” according to the Daily Mail report.
London fire chief Dany Cotton told Sky News reporters, “Tragically now we are not expecting to find anyone else alive. The severity and the heat of the fire would mean it is an absolute miracle for anyone to be left alive.”
Cotton added that after a structural inspection on Thursday, firefighters will make a full search for remaining victims.
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