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Huge blaze at London residential tower kills 12 people

15 Juin 2017

"The benefit of using those dogs is clearly they are much lighter than people and they can cover a greater area in a very short space of time".

The fire sent up plumes of smoke that could be seen from miles away.

In addition, 74 people were injured in the blaze, with 37 hospitalized and 17 of them still in critical condition.

Questions have been raised about why the fire appeared to spread so quickly and engulf the entire building instead of being contained within a few flats. About 600 people were believed to have been inside the tower's 120 flats, many of them asleep, when the blaze ripped through the building.

At a nearby community centre used to house some of those rescued, tensions were rising as occupants waited for news.

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) said a ruptured gas main in the block had to be isolated before fire crews were able to put the blaze out and bring it under control by 1.14am. "Any lessons learnt from this will be borne out not just across London, across the United Kingdom - and lessons learnt globally".

Emergency services said it is too early to say what had caused the disaster. This is because Grenfell was designed according to rigorous fire safety standards.

The project included installation of insulated exterior cladding, double-glazed windows and a communal heating system.

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Mr Maughan, 26, from Tottenham, came to the scene to help a friend who was evacuated from the 24-storey building which was devastated by a huge fire in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Survivors told of frantic attempts to escape during the nighttime fire.

There were reports that some leapt out of windows.

Dany Cotton said her crews had witnessed some awful things, including seeing people jumping from windows and throwing their children out of the burning building.

Eyewitnesses said that fire also prompted the concern that the continuous fire in the Grenfell tower might collapse it.

As an investigation into the cause of the blaze began, residents reported that fire alarms had not sounded.

"Like we explained yesterday, our absolute priority for all of us is about identifying and locating those people that are still missing".

Firefighters are still looking for people through the charred high-rise.

"Everyone was in shock, everyone was fleeing, screaming", Michael Paramasivan, a resident of the block, told BBC radio. Relatives also told Italian media that the couple had assured their family in Italy in phone calls that they would be rescued, since suffocating smoke made it impossible to go down the stairs. "She is now breaking her heart", he added.