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London Tower Fire Death Count Will Rise above 100, Authorities Fear

( [email protected] ) Jun 16, 2017 11:44 AM EDT
Around 600 people have been trapped inside Grenfell Tower when it went ablaze early Wednesday morning. Authorities fear more than 100 people were left dead inside the 26-story building. They admitted it would be an "absolute miracle" if there's anyone still alive in the tower. The rescue mission has turned into a search-and-recovery operation.
London Fire: Authorities fear more than 100 people died inside the Grenfell Tower CNN

Around 600 people have been trapped inside Grenfell Tower when it went ablaze early Wednesday morning. Authorities fear more than 100 people were left dead inside the 26-story building. They admitted it would be an "absolute miracle" if there's anyone still alive in the tower. The rescue mission has turned into a search-and-recovery operation.

As massive fire rips through the tower, locals heard shouts for help and frightening screams. There were reports that some residents jumped from windows to escape. Horrified witnesses also told reporters how they saw some families throwing children from sixth and tenth floors.

In an interview with Telegraph, Samira Lamrani, one the survivors, said she saw a woman dropped a baby from the 10th floor to waiting members of the public below. Also, another resident named Zara saw a man throwing his 5-year-old son from sixth-floor window to save his baby from the rapidly growing blaze.

Friends of Grenfell Tower residents described how text messages and calls from their loved ones become increasingly desperate as the flames engulf the building quickly. As per TheSun.com, a 30-year-old mother, trapped on the 23rd floor, sent a harrowing Snapchat message to her friend saying "forgive me everyone, goodbye."

A survivor named Marcio described his family's dramatic escape from the huge inferno. From 21st floor, he said he had to step over bodies with his seven months pregnant wife and two young daughters to call rescuers.

According to London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton, firefighters are now removing bodies in the building. She said if there's anyone still alive in the tower, it would take weeks to rescue them because the elevators and stairs have been fully destroyed. Some rescuers admitted that they do not expect anyone alive after the enormous fire burned the whole tower.

Urban search and rescue dogs were deployed inside the building. First responders said the core of the building was not structurally strong now. Dogs were much lighter and agiler than people, Cotton said. She described the search-and-recovery operation would be a "painstaking process."

In response to overwhelming calls for assistance from the British public, London-based Christian church The Salvation Army has launched a big campaign to help survivors and victims. They are providing drinks and foods for the affected residents as well as volunteers. The church also offers emotional support to all emergency crews and victims.

"We pray that people find hope in a really horrendous situation. We pray for those who have lost loved ones. And we pray for the emergency services who continue to work so tirelessly," Captain Ruth Gray of the Salvation Army said in a statement.

The Salvation Army's corps in Notting Hill, located at 205 Portobello Road, W11 1LU, is open as a family rest center for volunteers and members of the public.

As of this writing, Cmdr. Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan Police confirmed at least 30 people died from Grenfell blaze.


Tags : London Fire, Grenfell Tower, Metropolitan Police, London