London firefighters search for more building inferno victims
- Author: Zachary Reyes Jun 15, 2017,
Jun 15, 2017, 19:08
Members of the public bring supplies to Notting Hill Methodist Church to assist people affected by a fire that engulfed the Grenfell Tower, a high-rise apartment building on fire in west London Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
Cotton said structural surveyors and urban search and rescue specialists would inspect the building on Thursday and once it was declared safe a full search would take place. "And he is a professional fire officer", Cotton told Sky News.
A massive white poster has been placed on a wall nearby and people offered messages of hope and condolence in many languages, including English, Arabic and Spanish.
Witnesses described hearing screams for help from people trapped on the upper floors of the block as flames engulfed the building, which contains 120 flats thought to be home to between 400 and 600 people. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said a lot of residents are still unaccounted for.
Earlier on Wednesday, Police and Fire Minister Nick Hurd chaired a meeting of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat to co-ordinate the response to the disaster, and the government said it was ready to assist "as necessary".
Turner says they use "apartment packs" to respond to high rise apartment fires.
The building had recently undergone an 8.7 million pound exterior refurbishment, which included new external cladding and windows.
She said early Thursday that authorities have finally extinguished the last pockets of flame, and are trying to secure edges of the building for a fingertip search.
Thousands of buildings in Sydney and Melbourne are feared to be covered in cladding similar to the type blamed for causing the rapid spread of a deadly blaze in a London high-rise block of flats.
Families with young children, elderly residents and those who are vulnerable have been given "immediate priority", according to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) Council. Also, sprinklers will make the environment more survivable by containing the fire and containing the smoke.
Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to visit the scene of the tragedy later on Thursday to speak with emergency services and ensure that they have the resources they need to deal with the situation.
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.
Cladding has been added to a number of buildings across London in recent years, meant to provide insulation as well as improve the appearance of older buildings.
David Collins, former chairman of the Grenfell Tower Residents' Association, said the building's management had failed to listen to residents' calls for improvements on fire safety.
She also paid tribute to the bravery of firefighters who risked their lives to save others. They're coming to get us. The fire began on the lower floors after midnight.