A high-rise in North Kensington, London was destroyed in a huge fire two days ago, when flames engulfed the building, killing at least 17 people.
The 24-story apartment building caught fire early Wednesday, and spread throughout the building before emergency crews could contain it. Eye witnesses reported seeing mothers dropping their children and men jumping to the ground bellow while desperately attempting to escape the flames.
Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that a full public inquiry will be launched and that the causes of the fire will be determined, as well as who was responsible for designing the building.
Firefighters were called to the 24-story residential tower in the early hours of Wednesday, at a time when hundreds of people were inside, most of them sleeping. Many were woken by neighbors, or shouts from below, and fled the building. Fire crews rescued 65 adults and children, but some stayed in their homes, trapped by smoke and flames.
For the families of the missing, grief is mixing with anger. They are angry at the lack of information about their relatives. Many just don’t know if they are alive, dead or injured.
I spoke to one man: His cousin, her husband and their baby are missing.
A brief search of all floors in the tower had been carried out, but the severity of the fire and amount of debris meant a thorough search would be “difficult and painstaking”, Commander Cotton said. Sniffer dogs will now be sent in to search for evidence and identification of people still inside, she said.
The local authority – Kensington and Chelsea council – said 44 households had been placed in emergency accommodation so far. Throughout Wednesday night, people donated food, clothes and blankets for those left without homes. By early morning some volunteers said they had been overwhelmed with donations and were turning people and vans away.