by Rachel Ogbu
Early Wednesday, at about 1am, firefighters were called to a 27-storey building engulfed in flames at Grenfell Tower in White City London. Now the fatalities are rising with many people still unaccounted for as eyewitnesses tell horrid stories of residents, who were seen throwing themselves and their children out of windows desperate to get away from the inferno.
Facts and Figures
- The block was originally built in 1974
- The fire started on the second floor at about 12am and spread to the roof in just about 15 minutes
- The 120-flat block was covered soon with eyewitnesses saying people were jumping from windows to their death
- Twelve people have been confirmed dead
- At least 50 injured
- According to London Ambulance Service, 50 people were rushed to the hospital
- Scotland Yard police believe there is no doubt that the death toll will rise
- The building was housing at least 600 people
- 200 firefighters stormed the building within six minutes of the 999 call
- 40 fire engines and helicopters rushed to the scene
- The community has claimed that four years ago they called for the tower to be pulled down due to ‘appalling’ fire safety in the building
- Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) completed a £10million refurbishment on the building last year
- Residents were told to ‘stay put’ in their flats for up to an hour when the fire started. The Mayor of London is demanding an explanation why they were not evacuated immediately.
- The fire alarms did not go off and the sprinklers failed inside Grenfell Tower, says a survivor.
Speaking to DailyMail, Mouna Elogbani, who lives on the 11th floor with her husband and three children, aged 13, 10 and two, said she got a phone call from a neighbour warning her that the block was alight. “I was in my home going to bed, It was around 1.30am and my children were asleep. My friend called on the phone and told me that the building was on fire, it was coming towards our floor and we needed to get out. I woke up my children and we carried them out of the flat – but when we opened the door to escape the flames burst into the house and we had to shut it again. We got out through a fire escape and down the stairs.