Death toll rises to 12 in London residential block fire

Police say the number of victims is likely to rise further

Death toll rises to 12 in London residential block fire

World Bulletin / News Desk

The death toll in a massive blaze which destroyed a residential tower block in London on Wednesday morning has climbed to 12, police said.

More than 200 firefighters raced against time to tackle the fire which engulfed the 24-story Grenfell Tower in North Kensington Area leaving 74 others injured.

Commander Stuart Cundy, from the Metropolitan Police, confirmed at least 12 deaths but said this figure "will sadly increase".

A “complex recovery operation” was expected over the next few days, he added.

Emergency services said 74 people were in various hospitals; 20 of them were in critical condition.

The fire started at around 1 a.m. local time and is believed to have taken hold of the whole building, which contained 120 apartments.

"It is likely to take some time before we are in a position to confirm the identity of the victims and it is too early to speculate on the cause of the fire," the Metropolitan Police added.

Describing the fire earlier as "an unprecedented incident," London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said: "In my 29 years of being a firefighter, I have never ever seen anything on this scale."

A search-and-rescue operation is ongoing as the fire has been mostly brought under control.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said hundreds members of the emergency services were dealing with the situation, and described the fire as a "major incident".

Deniz Candas, a Turk who lives in the area told Anadolu Agency that there were some Turks who lived in the Grenfell Tower.

He said he knew a family who lived in the block but did not hear anything from them.

Tariq Gotteeh, a resident of the block said he was one of the first who had noticed the fire.

He said: "I was up for the suhoor. I was taking the rubbish out. I felt a strange smell... I checked around and saw the flames."

The area has been cordoned off and adjacent properties evacuated with nearby roads closed to traffic.

Meanwhile, Kensington Council has introduced emergency accommodation plans with hundreds of stranded families being offered accommodation for the night in a local gym.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Haziran 2017, 02:53