Death toll of 12 expected to rise in London tower block fire

At least 17 people have died in the Grenfell Tower fire, although the death toll is still expected to rise, emergency services have said.

"I know there are people who say they already found her, but the reality is that there has been no news of her".

Some desperate people reportedly jumped from the windows, while one woman, Samira Lamrani, said she saw a woman drop a baby from the ninth or 10th floor, for the child to be caught by a man below.

In its aftermath, an emotional Adele showed up at the scene and was seen "going around and hugging everyone she could to comfort them". Survivors told of frantic attempts to escape. "This is a major fire that's affected all floors of the 24-story structure from the second floor upwards".

Ruks Mamudu, 69, said she ran to safety down one flight of stairs to the ground floor from her apartment wearing only her purple pajamas and bathrobe.

Firefighters worked through the night to dampen the massive blaze that engulfed a 24-storey residential tower block in west London.

Prime Minister Theresa May has promised a "proper investigation" after the building went up in flames amid growing concerns about how the blaze could have spread so rapidly. Rydon, the British company that did the refurbishing, said in a statement that its work "met all required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards".

Up to 600 people lived in the 120 apartments at Grenfell Tower.

"So most of the families around here would have been awake", she added.

May ordered a meeting of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat to co-ordinate a response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy. "I could see the flames behind - there's a new cladding system put on the outsides that looks like a new skin, there's an air gap an insulation behind that, to me that looks like a fantastic chimney for the fire to rage around".

London Fire Brigade chief Dany Cotton said urban search units backed by specialist dog teams would scour the building as structural surveyors helped make the tower safe.

"Share the food with everyone", a marshal encouraged, as local residents and those who had come to offer help sat cross-legged opposite each other as Muslim members of the diverse neighborhood broke their Ramadan fast.

He said residents had complained for years about mismanagement of the block, saying he had warned that "one day there will be a catastrophic fire and that will hold these people to account".

"I heard some of the other places for donations are full already so I'm just giving people the option to bring things here", he told the Press Association.

Abdelaziz El-Wahabi, his wife Faouzia and their three children were among those who followed to protocol in their flat on the 21st floor. The church is also serving lunch and dinner to survivors.

  • Leroy Wright