At least 12 people have died after the huge fire destroyed Grenfell Tower in north Kensington, where flames could still be seen burning nearly 24 hours after the blaze started early on Wednesday. About 600 people were believed to have been inside the tower's 120 flats when the blaze ripped through the building.
Around 74 people have been taken to hospital, with 20 in a critical condition and three understood to have suffered life threatening injuries.
Residents were reportedly trapped in the upper floors of the tower block, which houses over 100 families, located just minutes away from the singer's home in London's Notting Hill.
Harrowing accounts emerged of people trapped inside as the blaze destroyed everything around them, shouting for help and trying to escape through windows using makeshift ropes from bed sheets tied together.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared the fire a major incident said questions will need to be answered over the safety of tower blocks across the city.
More than 250 firefighters were called to the block on the Lancaster West Estate, in north Kensington, at about 1am. Firefighters searched for bodies today in a London tower block gutted by a blaze that has already left 12 dead, as questions grew over whether a recent refurbishment contributed to the fire. The Metropolitan Police has confirmed that there have been 12 deaths so far and Commander Stuart Cundy has said the number of fatalities will sadly increase.
Rydon, the firm responsible for the refit, said the project "met all required building regulations".
"The first thing I heard were the screams and I came running out".
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"We don't know there is any direct link between the fire and cladding", Goldman said.
Hanan Wahabi, 39, said she escaped with her husband, 16-year-old son, and eight-year-old daughter, but feared for her brother and his family who live on the 21st floor.
Fire and police officials have not specified what went wrong, but extensive video footage shows the flames climbing the exterior of the building at a remarkable pace.
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.
The emergency services said it was too early to say what had caused the inferno, which left the block a charred, smoking shell.
CHELLAT: And I said, what's going on?
"Residents continue to be evacuated from the tower block fire". The area around Grenfell Tower is home to a large number of Muslims. Wahabi's husband Salah Chebiouni, 45, said he was in the kitchen when "I saw fire outside my window".
Khalid Suleman Ahmed, who lived on the eighth floor of Grenfell Tower, said: "No fire alarms went off and there were no warning".
He said authorities discussed "a process whereby we seek to identify towers that might be in a similar process of refurbishment, run a system of checks and inspections, so that we can as quickly as possible give reassurance to people".
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