Thirty people have been taken to hospital after a huge fire engulfed a 27-storey residential block in north Kensington.
Over 200 firefighters and 40 units are attending the scene at Grenfell Tower in north Kensington, which is home to hundreds of residents.
Eyewitnesses report people throwing their children from the building and hearing the screams and shouts of trapped residents.
It is understood a significant number of people remain unaccounted for in the tower, which was built in 1974 and is thought to contain 150 residential flats.
The fire started shortly after midnight with London mayor Sadiq Khan tweeting emergency services were dealing with a ‘major incident’ just after 4am.
“Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus are working extremely hard in very difficult conditions to tackle this fire,” said assistant commissioner Dan Daly.
“This is a large and very serious incident and we have deployed numerous resources and specialist appliances.”
The burning building could be seen from miles around, with the seat of the fire appearing to be on the tenth floor.
Those at the scene report seeing debris falling from the building and hearing the sound of breaking glass.
“We have sent a number of resources to the scene including our hazardous area response team and over 20 ambulance crews,” said Stuart Creighton, assistant director of operations at the London Ambulance Service.
“Our initial priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries and ensure those in the most need are treated first and taken to hospital.”
— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) June 14, 2017
The tower, which was recently refurbished with a new heating and hot water system, is now at risk of collapse, with a huge cordon set up and surrounding buildings evacuated.
Grenfell Action Group had claimed during the refurbishment that the block was a fire risk and residents had warned that access to the site for emergency vehicles was ‘severely restricted’.
“It’s clearly an absolutely devastating fire and the emergency services and council support offices have been here for a number of hours trying to establish if they are people still in the building,” said councillor Nick Paget-Brown.
“We’ve set up emergency centres nearby, where people have been evacuated too and we are doing as much as we can for them.”
An emergency number has been set up for those concerned about friends and loved ones – 0800 0961 233.