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tv   BBC News  BBC News  June 14, 2017 4:00am-4:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. a massive fire in a west london tower block. the london fire brigade are dealing with a serious fire in a tower block in west london. they were called around 2am local time to grenfell tower, a 23 storey block of flats in kensington. 200 firefighters on the scene, 45 engines, most people trying to help have been moved back because of concerns the structure will collapse. local people say that residents in the tower are trapped and details are not yet clear. andy moore is our correspondent and he's there. what is the latest? as you can see, the building is well at. we have had an update from the fire service, they say it is from the second floor
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up they say it is from the second floor up to the 27th floor. you may be able to see in the bottom left—hand corner there is a hydraulic platform with a hose focused on the one corner of the building that is not a light. in the last half an hour we have seen a person at a window. we saw them once or twice. we don't know whether it is a resident or a firefighter. it is in that area where the hose is being pointed. we can say that at least some people are in the building. we don't know if they are trapped. we don't know how many have been rescued from the building. we do know from the london fire service that they say in the early stages, two people were treated for the effects of breathing in smoke but we have had no update since then. we have seen debris falling from the building. we have heard the sound of explosions. we have heard the sound of glass breaking. the police keep pushing
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back their cordons, moving members of the public, in fear that the building might collapse. as you can see, the firefighters, especially on the hydraulic platforms, are still in close proximity to the building. i don't think they would be that close unless they were actively trying to rescue people to save lives. there is great concern, from what you have said, and everyone being pushed back, about the building collapsing? that is right. that is a fear, as you can see. it has been alight for about three hours. it is from the second floor up hours. it is from the second floor up to the top and above the building ican up to the top and above the building i can see a column of grey smoke rising into the air. there is the police helicopter overhead, keeping watch. there must be fears for the integrity, the structural integrity, of the building. certainly, the police are acting on the principle that it police are acting on the principle thatitis police are acting on the principle that it is better safe than sorry
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andy to his best to move people back. certainly i was close to the building earlier on and there was ash falling all around —— and it is best. so, there must be fears for the integrity of this building, that it could possibly collapse. you can see one hose on the building. we can't see the base of the building from where we are. but from the 10th floor and above you can see there is no fire fighting going on. it is impossible to reach it. it is impossible to reach it. it is impossible to reach it. it is impossible to get hoses on it. so it is simply burning completely out of control from the 10th floor upwards. iam sure control from the 10th floor upwards. i am sure you cannot comment as such but it is worth putting it out there, we don't have the landlord's view on the block, it is a local authority block that was being upgraded and the work was supposed to have been finished. what appears to have been finished. what appears to be an local pressure group, the g re nfell to be an local pressure group, the grenfell action group, has called attention to what it calls dangerous living conditions here, allegedly, a
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neglect of health and said the legislation, allegedly a safety record from the landlord but we don't have the landlord's point of view on that and i am sure we will have one. the blog post does suggest a serious fire in the tower block is likely and they suggest a fire was averted in 2013 when they say some residents experienced power surges allegedly caused by faulty wiring. yes, i mean, obviously, you know, we have heard rumours to that effect here. let me bring you an update from the london fire brigade, who haveissued from the london fire brigade, who have issued this statement in the last couple of minutes. they say that 40 last couple of minutes. they say that a0 fire engines and 200 firefighters have been called to the tower block. they say they received multiple calls. they say the fire is from the second floor to the top floor of the 27 floor building. we have a statement from assistant can no dan bailey who says firefighters with breathing apparatus are working very ha rd
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with breathing apparatus are working very hard in difficult conditions to tackle the fire —— assistant commissioner dan bailey. we have deployed numerous resources and specialist appliances. they say their first call specialist appliances. they say theirfirst call came specialist appliances. they say their first call came just before 1am in the morning local time, that is over three hours ago, and they say fire crews from many local stations are here. they say the cause of the fire is not known at this stage. andy, thank you very much. you and your crew take care, of course. 0n the line is someone who lives in the area and has been watching the fire for some time. thank you for coming to speak to us. what have you heard, what do you know? around 1am, just past 1am, we were woken by the fire, specifically people shouting help, help, fire, fire. we looked out the window — i was visiting relatives in the area, and we could see clearly the tower block, g re nfell tower, see clearly the tower block,
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grenfell tower, fully aflame on one side of the building and all the way from the bottom to the top on one side of it, and we watched as the fire moved across the building and we heard sirens, of course, as emergency services went past to get there. then we moved onto the street and we have been watching the fire from about 500 metres away for the last couple of hours. we have seen some evidence of life — people blinking lights within the building —and, as blinking lights within the building — and, as your correspondent said, there is a hydraulic platform that has gone up towards what could be an area of the building where people could be actively inside. we saw a person a5 minutes ago on the 11th floor standing at the window with his hands, or her hands, over her ears, maybe the phone. so, i have
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also spoken with people on the ground who have come out of the building on their own accord are not evacuated per se, but they escaped from the building —3 families, obviously shaken up with few belongings, with blankets and water, who came down the stairs. that was a while ago. from what we understand we are hearing that the stairs are no longer safe for people to come out of the building using the stairs. so, just to be clear, as we look at this horrifying scene, you are seeing signs right now that there are people still inside? right now i can't see any signs of life but the hydraulic artform skews my vision to the window where there was a person and the crowd are visibly and audibly reacting when the person appeared. i also have a relative on the other side of the building who sent me a video of a person halfway down the building on the outside —
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perhaps an emergency responder because it looked like they have a pack or a canister on their back, that was about one and a half hours ago, and it was unclear what the person was doing. we saw hoses going other side of the building. i believe the top half of the building cannot really be put out at this time. they arejust cannot really be put out at this time. they are just focusing on the lower floors. the fire engines that are responding can only really send water up around six or seven floors, it looks like. that hydraulic platform it looks now towards the 11th floor, perhaps the 12. some flats are still actively burning. especially on the side of the building that burnt near the latter pa rt building that burnt near the latter part of the fire. we saw lots of debris coming off the building. people say it was a facade that was recently updated and not necessarily pa rt recently updated and not necessarily part of the structure. some residents in the area say that the structure should be fine because it
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is concrete but obviously that is just a subdivision. we don't know about the integrity of the building. most of what we are seeing is cladding and other facade elements coming away. we have heard explosions, perhaps glass popping, tvs , explosions, perhaps glass popping, tvs, appliances and we have seen debris coming outside windows. so far the smoke continues to go from all sides of the building straight up all sides of the building straight up intoa all sides of the building straight up into a large column of smoke. thank you for all the information. there were several people who have pointed out this person seen at the window. there was talk at one stage the fire service saying the official figures of two people being treated for breathing in smoke. there was a suggestion of the person seeing out the window as a firefighter but of course it is clearly bareheaded and seemed inconceivable that in the midst of that a firefighter would ta ke midst of that a firefighter would take off their helmet? yes, it did not to me look like a firefighter. i did not see a helmet. it looks like
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a person in normal clothes with their hand at that year. it could have been directing the platform to the window. —— at their ear. when the window. —— at their ear. when the person appeared, they were in the person appeared, they were in the midst of an area of the building that seemed like it was just white smoke illuminated by fluorescent lighting. maybe that part of the building was safe enough for emergency responders to go into but the rest of the building seems like there would be no chance for that to happen. and we should say that the police say that a number of people are being treated for a range of injuries from the fire but no figures on that at the moment. we haven't seen anyone specifically being treated out here. we do know that the authorities have said, i believe, that people can go to the lata christian centre, which is close by, if they are survivors who need help —— latimer. and there was some concern for the building is close by. there is a college i believe close to the building that could have been, you know, within
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range of debris, and we have seen debris coming down close to the hydraulic platform itself, so hopefully the emergency responders themselves are safe. thank you very much indeed. just to look on the bright side for a moment, you have seen bright side for a moment, you have seen clear evidence of large numbers of people who have been evacuated? yeah, i mean, i have met three families who have come out safely andi families who have come out safely and i have heard reports from friends who live in the building that some of their relatives and friends have evacuated, although it still remains to be seen — there are still remains to be seen — there are still some people unaccounted for. just to be clear, for people who know the british capital, i think we are near latimer road and white city? that's right, latimer road station is the closest asian to that building. thank you very much indeed for coming through to ours and fall of that information —— statoin.
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what can you tell us? so, i've heard from friends and from family members some stories that are quite tragic, people calling from inside a building on their mobile phones, telling family members that they won't make it and wishing people goodbye. also another family friend who left, who escaped, she said that when she came out of the building there were no fire alarms on in the area where she was — there were no fire alarms working. and she said that the fire was in the fire exit and in the stairwell. so, i... yeah, iam quite and in the stairwell. so, i... yeah, i am quite shocked to hear that. also, people have been whatsapping meet and they said they have seen people flashing, this was early on,
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flashing mobile phones, trying to tell people that they are alive and that they are there. and i think i reported to you earlier that i have heard people calling out for help, so they're definitely were people who were trapped inside — and i hope that they are out. and just typically, these are first—hand reports, you have heard these first—hand ? reports, you have heard these first-hand? yes, these are first—hand reports. some of it has been by whatsapp from my sister who has basically — people have come to her house, so, you're. do you have family and friends in the block? -- yeah. i had some friends and they came out off the block, those i know, but i have a neighbour that i know, but i have a neighbour that i know, one male member of the family is missing. do you know anything on conditions of the block, obviously don't speculate, but there were serious allegations made by what it is to be an action group of local residents, but we don't have it at the moment, the landlord response to
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those? yes, so, i live in an estate opposite is building and i have, you know, i have lived in this state throughout my childhood, i have friends here, and i basically have experienced and i have seen, basically — i know that the elevator is never used to work very well. i know that it was refurbished recently. the stairwell is a p pa re ntly recently. the stairwell is apparently have burnt through. and i also know that the conditions... in this area the emergency services are doing an amazing job. there are many out here doing their hardest. they are impeded by the fact that in front of this building they have very narrow front of this building they have very narrow roads. front of this building they have very narrow roads. 0ne site doesn't have a through road. and i would like let people know that if there are children going to the school, don't turn up. there it is less than
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200 metres away from the school. the school... it looks like it will burn through. potentially it could damage the secondary school, so that is another possibility. joined us, you are saying with some certainty that people have been calling from inside the building, inside the building as it is now, on their mobile phones, saying to family and friends that they probably won't make it, people have been heard calling out for help to try to indicate where they are. you are no expert in this kind of thing. from what you are seeing, what are the chances with a hydraulic ladders and the platforms that the firefighters have of getting people out? i cannot say. the building is burning through, i can't see how there are any more people alive if they are still in there that haven't come out, i can't imagine but then
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again, i have been around a building again, i have been around a building a few times and each time they heard but not recently, not within the last half—hour, i was hearing screams of help. they even heard it right at the very beginning. it was pitch black, about 1:15am when i looked out the window but before that, i kept hearing police sirens andi that, i kept hearing police sirens and ijust that, i kept hearing police sirens and i just heard that, i kept hearing police sirens and ijust heard some popping sounds, like shooting going on. i was looking out my window to see what was happening. when i eventually looked up, i was absolutely shocked and there was a fear, you can't imagine, because i just imagined people would die because it is very hard to access that building and it's a tall building and other estates around here, they are not told the —— there are not tall buildings in the immediate vicinity but they are hard
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to access by vehicles, the fire brigade. also, isaid before, we don't have fire drills at council estates. we don't have community education about what we do in the event of a fire. we don't know what the evacuation plan is. i heard from people they were told the beginning that police told them to stay inside the building. there is the kind of confusion and fear about what they do. thatjust confusion and fear about what they do. that just makes confusion and fear about what they do. thatjust makes it worse. do down the line, please. police are saying a number of people are being from the fire for a range of injuries. it seems likely some of the bangs you are hearing were debriefed falling all glass exploding. the police and firefighters are saying one corner of the building was not a light which gives some hope. that would
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just be, i can't understand what they said there because the side that was not a light, didn't have any windows. i have literally been around each side of the building and taken photos around each side of the building and ta ken photos and around each side of the building and taken photos and videos and i saw pretty much all of it ablaze at different stages so i don't know if ican different stages so i don't know if i can corroborate what they said u nfortu nately. i can corroborate what they said unfortunately. perhaps now, i am on one side, another opposite corner has gone out. i am a corner view. everybody is hoping to hear more from the fire service but they are very, very busy. please stay busy. just to recap, 27 stories, this block, the fire service saying it is a light from the second to the 27th floor. a0 fire engines, 200 plus
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firefighters with breathing apparatus. a light from the second to the 27th floor. have you been at all to the area were people have been evacuated? all to the area were people have been evacuated ? have all to the area were people have been evacuated? have you talked to anyone? i have been around every pa rt anyone? i have been around every part of this building and haven't seen part of this building and haven't seen the people have been evacuated other than those who have come out a further distance away. for these areas immediately bordering onto the zone that has been boarded off, those are the only people i have spoken to. either in between or around the buildings, because i am it well, i was raised here and i haven't been able to see people being actively treated on the ground. the only people i saw a people who made it out at the beginning of people that midway through have found other people and made themselves known that they are a survivor but they were in shock. i haven't seen many people with burns
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or anything. there is a very small cul—de—sac which is not a through road immediately in front of one side of this building so a lot might be happening there. that is whether would be. there may be a lot going on. thank you so much becoming through to us. we can speak to simon lederman who is at the scene. we have been reporting this story since about 1:a0 have been reporting this story since about1:a0 a.m.. the have been reporting this story since about 1:a0 a.m.. the first call went through to the emergency services at 115. in this tower block in the latimer road area of west london, it's confirmed as grenfell tower, and we have estimated from the
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various eyewitnesses we have spoken to that the building contains around 200 flats so the number of people in that building significantly higher. very early on, it was clear that this was a major incident. the fla mes this was a major incident. the flames could be seen from many miles away and the first reports we had from eyewitnesses were talking about scenes that build them, we were told, with sheer horror. this was a building on fire from its very base to its very top level. it was a fire that was blaring from all of the flats that they could see and later on as the story developed, there we re on as the story developed, there were visions of masonry falling off the building which was preventing having some concern to those who we re having some concern to those who were trying to establish an emergency recovery effort of that building and the moment the firefighters tried to do what they can, within 200 firefighters are attendance. the aao which is the
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main road that goes from the centre of town out western further along is currently closed in both directions, such as the scale this blaze. the latest reports suggest it might be 27 storeys high so even more flats and people then you have estimated. but it seems many, many people have been evacuated. you might be hearing reports of people calling from inside the building suggesting to family and friends they might not make it. other people calling for help, flashing their phones to indicate where they are. can you tell us how possible it would be to get people out. your —— i'm afraid i'm not on site. i am in the studio where it had about two hours of eyewitness reports from people who
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have been seeing what has been going on. two things struck me. one, the sense of concern for the way the streets are laid out in the area. 0ne streets are laid out in the area. one of the narrow aspect of the tree —— of the street. in some cases, they were eyewitnesses, saying these firefighters have had a double back on themselves because they couldn't actually gain access. the second thing is the sheer scale of the fire. you talk about the eyewitnesses. i think this is right, hearing people on those buildings, trying to attract attention. we have seen trying to attract attention. we have seen it on various social media sites. tweets that are going by mentioning the numbers and the horror they are going through. the second is the sheer scale of this falling masonry. which might be preventing the rescue services from doing what they can. this is a major
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response from the london fire service. as you suggest, it is 2a or more storeys high. it is a major problem they are grappling with.|j should stress, we have not heard anything from the landlords of the block. the grenfell tower action group have been drawing attention to what they call dangerous living conditions at this block. allegedly neglected health and safety legislation by the landlords and of our suggestions from them, only allegations, allegations that a majorfire at this allegations, allegations that a major fire at this block was averted in 2013 when some residents they say experienced power surges allegedly caused by faulty wiring. one of our eyewitnesses was speaking about a similarfire that had eyewitnesses was speaking about a similar fire that had taken place eyewitnesses was speaking about a similarfire that had taken place in that building and we have another
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person who called as he was not in that block but they were at a similar block nearby. they have been confirmed. since they had a major tower block fire in london, concerned about their own safety. what seems to be also coming through from a number of people was the problem of the lifts being not very well maintained. in a fire, you wouldn't be using the lifts anyway. the stairwells have been completely taken over the stairwells have been completely ta ken over by the stairwells have been completely taken over by fire. the method at which the emergency services are going to take access is going to be something they are manically working on and how that will happen, based on and how that will happen, based on what the eyewitness accounts are, is unclear at this stage. we've had people saying the fire was in the fire exits, and in the stairwells. also suggestions, only allegations,
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that the fire alarms were not working. what we heard about the fire alarms was that they had been sounding. this was one eyewitness we heard from earlier. the fire alarms had been sounding. i can only imagine, this is from my own experience of dealing with these kinds of stories, perhaps eventually the fire was affecting the power that was then feeding persistence of the building. i can't say that but the building. i can't say that but the fact that there had been an eyewitness who said the fire alarms we re eyewitness who said the fire alarms were sounding and then they weren't suggest something during the course of the fire change their ability to function. we know firefighters and police have been moving back from the block. there is no way of avoiding this, whether this block is in danger of collapse. this is what we are hearing earlier on. it's
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important to remember that at 1:15 a.m., 1:16am important to remember that at 1:15 a.m.,1:16am was the exact time, when the emergency services first received the call. the problem is if this fire has been burning for what would then be over three hours long and the flames, and though we are seeing flames on the channel you are reporting on now, we also know that masonry is continuing to fall off the side of that building. the integrity of that building, from a novice who is not an expert in the way buildings is construction that having witnessed these tower blocks being a light before, the integrity of that building must be called into question three hours and 15 minutes on from that fire burst being reported to the emergency services. we know that the number of people have been taken to the christian
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centre in latimer road. do you know how many people might have got out? not yet. the one thing that is really concerning, the reports we have coming in, and certainly the information i have managed to gather is twofold. we have ambulances arriving and no ambulances leaving. that is incredibly concerning. you would imagine ambulances will be heading out to hospital with the injured and secondly, although there we re injured and secondly, although there were many people, seeing people who looked like they were going to bed. it was not people from grenfell tower. it seemed to be local people who are living nearby trying to offer some assistance so in terms of numbers of those who have actually left the building and gone to the church hall, i'm afraid not clear on that. it's a concerning picture because the picture we are seemingly having from all the eyewitnesses,
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they are eyewitnesses who don't live there. we have one caller who crow —— called the programme earlier on his aunt lived very high up in the building. she had a heart condition and she was able to leave the building early and earlier that she was out and she was ok but that is the only such story that i've heard of. it isa it is a terrifying scene, even now. thank you so much. i should say that the net, sadiq khan, hasjust declared a major incident —— mayor. we can speak with tim downie, also watching the blaze, who is on the phone. what have you seen, what have you heard? i have pretty much watched it from 2am, from when we we re watched it from 2am, from when we were first alerted to the sheer volume of sirens going off and the helicopters that were here, and i
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have just seen the fire absolutely rip through it and just engulfed the whole building. now it is pretty much burnt out, the entire thing. i mean, i have never seen anything like that in all of the years i have lived here. just the scale of it is pretty extraordinary. we are just seeing at the moment the weather camera shot which shows the plume of smoke across camera shot which shows the plume of smoke across west camera shot which shows the plume of smoke across west london. are you getting any indications of whether there are people inside, how many people might be inside? nine none whatsoever. i have heard there are people still trapped inside.

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