Grenfell Tower, a block of flats on the Lancaster West Estate in western London, has burst aflame, in what media pundits are calling the “London Inferno.”
The cause of the fire is still unknown, but one thing’s for certain—the damage has been absolutely devastating. So far, 12 have been confirmed dead, but this death toll is expected to rise massively as more and more bodies are accounted for.
In addition to the 12 confirmed deaths, 74 individuals have been rushed to nearby hospitals, and nearly “hundreds,” of people are missing, according to a community leader working to locate victims.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) June 14, 2017
The apartment complex was home to over 600 people, and will likely soon collapse. Daily Mail reports the following facts:
- At least 12 people have died, 74 are in six London hospitals including 20 in a critical condition after Grenfell Tower blaze started at 1am;
- Dozens more are feared dead or missing with one source claiming total could run into the hundreds. The Casualty Bureau number is 0800 0961 233;
- Trapped residents begged to be rescued while waving white towels, torches and mobile phones after being urged to stay in their flats;
- Petrified people were seen throwing themselves and their children out of windows – a baby tossed from the ‘9th or tenth floor’ was caught and survived – but the mother’s fate is unknown
- 200 firefighters with 40 engines needed to tackle ‘unprecedented’ blaze and pulled 65 from inside the blaze – residents claim that fire alarms didn’t work, sprinklers failed and only stairwell used as exit was blocked
What’s troubling, however, is that many apartment dwellers complained numerous times about the “appalling” fire safety conditions. Originally constructed in 1974, the residential developers had recently received $13.2 million to refurbish the block…but some are skeptical.
Many believe that the managers pocketed some of this change for themselves, while refusing to repair deadly hazards and provide adequate safety precautions throughout the building.
Watch till the end. You probably wont see this interview again. Someone speaking the truth maybe? #GrenfellTower
— azy (@azymanzur) June 14, 2017
In 2016, The Grenfell Action Group, a residents activist group, highlighted “ongoing concerns,” among residents over the safety of the building, according to CNN London edition.They put out a blog post arguing that only a “catastrophic event,” would expose the “ineptitude and incompetence,” of their landlord…and unfortunately, it seems that just this has happened.
Although the management company has made a statement, claiming that they do not know what caused the fire, many believe it was the cheap, low-quality materials used to construct the building.
Christopher JP Miers, an architect and founder of the construction dispute resolution group Probyn Miers, finds it “very concerning,” that the fire was able to spread so rapidly throughout the building.
— Helen (@Itstillhelen) June 14, 2017
While most of the fires have been put out, thanks to the efforts of hardworking firemen, there are still concerns that the building may collapse…and worse yet, there may still be people trapped inside.
Thankfully London’s community has come together and donated enormous amounts of goods—food, clothing, water, and the like. Joe Walsh, who runs the Maxilla Social Club, said that volunteers had been on hand, collecting donations since 2am local time.
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) June 14, 2017
While Prime Minister Theresa May was said to be “deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life,” many are upset at the government’s lack of action regarding the tower’s security. Expect more breaking details as this story unfolds.