London’s Towering Inferno: High-Rise Apartment Engulfed In Flames (Video)

London’s Towering Inferno: High-Rise Apartment Engulfed In Flames (Video)

A deadly overnight fire engulfed a 27-story London apartment building Wednesday killing at least 12 people and injuring more than 74 others with the death toll expected to rise.

More than 200 firefighters battled the inferno, which officials called an “unprecedented incident,” Fox News reports.

Witnesses reported seeing residents throwing babies and small children from high windows to people on the sidewalk in a desperate effort to save them from the flames.

One witness, who identified herself as Sofia, told The Guardian: “I heard loads of young girls crying out for help…I can hear people screaming for help and they are dying.”

Jody Martin told the BBC she watched desperate residents of the building trying to escape the blaze.

“I watched one person falling out, I watched another woman holding her baby out the window,” she said. “I was yelling at everyone to get down and they were saying, ‘We can’t leave our apartments, the smoke is too bad on the corridors.'”

The inferno lit up the night sky and spewed black smoke from the windows of the Grenfell Tower in North Kensington. A plume of smoke stretched for miles across the sky after dawn, revealing the blackened, flame-licked wreckage of the building, which was still burning over 12 hours later.

Daily Mail reports that a community leader working to locate victims, who asked not to be named, believes nobody who lived on the top three residential floors survived and the building could collapse in the next 24 hours.

He said: ‘We have a list of missing people – there are so many. It’s possible there are more than 50, possibly hundreds’.

Those who managed to flee said it was ‘like hell on earth’ inside as they scrambled over dead bodies and claimed there was no working fire alarm, sprinklers failed and the only staircase out was blocked.

At the height of the blaze petrified residents were seen throwing themselves and their children out of windows to avoid being burned to death – others made ropes by tying bed sheets together or used them as makeshift parachutes and jumped.

The local council, the block’s landlord and the contractor used to refurbish the building last year face serious questions about how the fire took hold so quickly in a tower branded a ‘death trap’ by survivors.

Police have said it is not possible to confirm how many people are unaccounted for because the building is still on fire more than 12 hours after it started.

Police would not confirm how many people are unaccounted for because the building is still on fire 14 hours after it started (pictured this morning) - six are known to be dead but the death toll is likely to be significantly much higher

Police would not confirm how many people are unaccounted for because the building is still on fire 14 hours after it started (pictured this morning) – six are known to be dead but the death toll is likely to be significantly much higher

The blaze has been described as a once in a generation disaster and could prove to one of the worst disasters Britain has seen in recent years

There are real fears that that nobody who lived on the top three residential floors may have survived the unprecedented fire 

A brave firefighter is pictured inside the burnt remains of the 27-storey building, as efforts are made to investigate what caused the blaze 

A body wrapped up in a blanket, obscured by MailOnline, lies in the ground floor of the White City tower block largely destroyed by fire over night

Undertakers remove bodies from Grenfell Tower today but the recovery of the dead is likely to take several more days as the fire is still not out

Undertakers remove bodies from Grenfell Tower today but the recovery of the dead is likely to take several more days as the fire is still not out

A drone inspects the top floors of the wrecked tower block, where residents on the highest storeys are all feared dead after being trapped in their homes and then engulfed

A drone inspects the top floors of the wrecked tower block, where residents on the highest storeys are all feared dead after being trapped in their homes and then engulfed

Firefighters continue to battle large scale blaze in London tower block more than 14 hours after it broke out on the fourth floor

Emergency services are still running through falling debris including glass and its controversial cladding continues to rain down

Grenfell Tower is in one of London's most diverse communities and this group sit on the pavement outside a temporary aid centre nearby, some of whom were in tears

Grenfell Tower is in one of London’s most diverse communities and this group sit on the pavement outside a temporary aid centre nearby, some of whom were in tears

Many residents who gathered outside the smoldering ruins of the building said the fire had been caused by a faulty fridge in one of the flats, but the fire service told MailOnline it could not confirm the reports at this stage

Terrified residents trapped in a burning tower block were forced to knot bed sheets together to form makeshift ladders or jump from the 27-storey building in a desperate bid to escape the flames

Terrified residents trapped in a burning tower block were forced to knot bed sheets together to form makeshift ladders or jump from the 27-storey building in a desperate bid to escape the flames

Terrified residents trapped in a burning tower block were forced to knot bed sheets together to form makeshift ladders or jump from the 27-storey building in a desperate bid to escape the flames

The 27-storey Grenfell building, which was built in 1974 but refurbished last year, has an average of six flats per floor lived in by council tenants and a smaller number of private owners or tenants.

A spokesman said: ‘It is too early to speculate what caused the fire and contributed to its spread. We will co-operate fully with all the relevant authorities in order to ascertain the cause of this tragedy.

‘We are aware that concerns have been raised historically by residents. We always take all concerns seriously and these will form part of our forthcoming investigations. While these investigations continue with our co-operation, our core priority at the moment is our residents’.

Commander Stuart Cundy, of the Metropolitan Police, said: ‘I can confirm six fatalities at this time but this figure is likely to rise during what will be a complex recovery operation over a number of days.’

Fire crews are searching the tower and Mr Cundy added: ‘I do anticipate that there may be people within that building that are as yet unaccounted for.’

Read the full story here.

Photos: Daily Mail

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