London fire: Blaze engulfs apartment block in West London

The Metropolitan Police said that at least six people were known to have died and that they expected to rise during the "complex recovery operation" over a number of days.

Mr Cundy added: "Whilst we may have accessed every floor that is not the same as a full search of the whole building, and as I said while we now sadly have 12 fatalities, I do believe that figure will rise and sadly I don't anticipate that there will be further survivors".

People in the apartments cornered by the quickly advancing flames and thick smoke banged on windows and screamed for help to those watching down below, witnesses and survivors said.

The British company that carried out the tower's 2016 refurbishment, Rydon, said in a statement that its work "met all required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards". An unknown number of people have died and about 50 others were sent to hospitals.

Several firefighters were injured as they tackled the blaze, Ms Cotton said. Horrific eye witness accounts from the scene, and video footage captured people still trapped in the building at the windows pleading to be rescued, with some resorting to throwing young family members out of the window in an attempt to rescue them.

Nassima Boutrig told The Associated Press reports: "We saw the people screaming", she said.

She added: "I could see people from all angles, banging and screaming for help". The windows were slightly ajar, a woman was gesturing that she was about to throw her baby and if somebody could catch her baby. "A gentleman ran forward and managed to grab the baby".

A blaze broke out in the early hours in the tower block. At least one person was reported to have fallen from a top floor, in flames. "There's a fireman shouting "get down the stairs", one of the block's residents, Michael Paramasivan, told BBC radio.

"We've complained to council", said Edward Daffarn, 55, who said nothing had been done to improve safety. "There was heavy smoke in the hallway".

The Grenfell Action Group, a community organization formed to oppose a nearby redevelopment project, has been warning about the risk of fire there since 2013. The group has raised concerns about testing and maintenance of firefighting equipment and blocked emergency access to the site.

"Our priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries and ensure those in the most need are treated first and taken to hospital", the London Ambulance Service service said.

"My daughter's friend said she observed an adult who made some sort of homemade parachute and tried to lower himself out of the window".

Sajad Jamalvatan, a 22-year-old biomedical engineering student, had been seeing a movie at the nearby Westfield shopping center with his sister when his mom called to say their building was on fire.

"This is an unprecedented incident", Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton told reporters on the scene.

She said she feared more victims would be found still inside the building.

Police have turned a church near the scene of a massive west London high-rise fire into a makeshift centre for evacuees.

This story has been corrected to show that the building has 24 floors, not 27.

Many people at St.

Police say it will take some time to confirm the cause of the fire.

As of early Wednesday morning, people were believed to still be trapped inside a high-rise that is home to about 500 people. Hours after the fire broke out, a plume of smoke can be seen from miles away.

Nick Paget-Brown, leader of Kensington and Chelsea Borough, said: "Clearly, looking further ahead there needs to be a full investigation into the cause of this fire, why it started and why it appears to have spread so rapidly".

London ambulance services are responding to a major fire burned in west London.

Residents said they had heard the faint sound of smoke alarms from individual units, but that it was unclear whether the building had an integrated alarm system.

They said official advice in the event of a fire had been to stay inside.

"I saw three people putting sheets together to climb down, but no one climbed down".

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

The London Fire Brigade tweeted that the fire involved the second to the top floor of the 24-story building.

Asked about which floor the boy was thrown from, she said she thought it was the fifth or even the sixth.

  • Leroy Wright