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tv   BBC News  BBC News  June 14, 2017 5:00am-5:31am BST

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this is bbc news. i'm kasia madera. our top stories: a massive fire in a west london tower block. many people are being treated for injuries. this is the live scenes. we will speak with our correspondent with the very latest. hello and welcome to bbc news. we will bring you the very latest on this developing story that has taken place through the night with hundreds of firefighters in london working to rescue people trapped in a massive blaze that has engulfed a high—rise block of flats. this is the image live now in west london. there are a0 fire engines in the presence of greenfeld tower in the west of the city. police say that
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residents were being evacuated, a number of people were being treated for a range of injuries. the fire broke out in the middle of the night. andy moore is our correspondent and he's at the scene. just for the viewers joining us, bring us up—to—date on exactly what is happening. well, this fire broke out just over four is happening. well, this fire broke outjust over four hours ago according to the london fire service. they said it was burning from the second to the 27th floor of this tower block. you can see it has diminished slightly now because most of the block has burnt out, most of the combustible material has caught alight and burnt out and be fire is steadily diminishing hour. he might be able to see the hoses on the base of the building. the one on the left is from an automated hydraulic platform. 0ver is from an automated hydraulic platform. over one hour ago we saw
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one person at a windowjust behind that platform — we saw that person briefly, and then we hope they were rescued by the fire service who were inside the building using breathing aparajith. in the last few minutes we have had an update from the london ambulance service —— aparajith. they were called at 1:30am in the morning and they say they sent a number of resources to they sent a number of resources to the team, including the hazardous area response team and 20 ambulance crews. they are working closely with london fire brigade and met police and the priority is to get safety and the priority is to get safety and medical help as quickly as possible. the statement goes on, the initial priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries and ensure that those in the most need are treated first and taken to hospital. more information will follow when we have it. so, no precise casualty figures. that confirms what we've heard from the
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metropolitan police, that there are a number of injuries certainly in the early stages when we heard from people suffering from the effects of breathing in smoke. but there have been more serious injuries than that, though at this stage we don't know at the moment. also we know that the mayor of london siddique khan has declared this a major incident. i know that this building had been refurbished relatively recently. do we know whether it was fully occupied 7 we recently. do we know whether it was fully occupied? we are talking about a27 fully occupied? we are talking about a 27 story tower block, 200 apartments. was it fully occupied? do we know this? i don't know that. i know that the refurbishment has been completed. as far as i am aware, residents had been moved back in. the fire broke outjust before iam in the morning local time. so, you would presume that most people would have been in theirflats in bed when this fire started. we don't
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know the cause of the fire. local people say it appeared to start lower down the building of the third or fourth floor and then as you can see yourself it moved up the building and the entire building was engulfed. there were reports screaming for help. when i first arrived, the building was well alight and the first thing i did was to scan all of the flaws and all of the windows to see if i could see any people. and at that stage i couldn't —— floors. the only person we have seen in the three hours we have been here is one person on the left—hand side at the lower window. ididn't left—hand side at the lower window. i didn't see anybody else trapped in the building, though there have been reports of that. 0k, andy, i know that you are busy. you have been there through the night. for the time being, to my colleague, who has been watching the fire take place through the night, as we heard,
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first called to the ambulance service at around 1:30am and the fire broke out a little earlier than that. this is a 27 story tower block in west london, this is a hugely densely populated area not far from notting hill. a number of these kind of state in the area and it is interspersed with a number of very affluent houses as well, and you can see the plume billowing out across london. as i was coming into work it was possible to see the plume of smoke, absolutely huge, across the whole capital. we are trying to establish how many people have been evacuated, how many people were in fa ct evacuated, how many people were in fact in that block of flats. kensington and chelsea tenant management organisation running the g re nfell tower. management organisation running the grenfell tower. so, this developing throughout the night. a huge, huge blazing fire in west london. 0ne throughout the night. a huge, huge blazing fire in west london. one man lives in the area and you have been
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watching this through the night. tell us what you can see. yes, right now what used to be a sort of grey and white building is now mostly brown, as it is smouldering. we have been watching it since about 1:15am in the morning, when we first heard shouts of fire and help from our window, i am in the late broke growth area, and so we came out immediately and we have been standing about 500 metres away for the last, well, three and a half to four hours. —— ladbroke grove. we have seen different things happening, signs of life intermittently. currently right now we are actively seeking one person who is at a window that was previously closed, is now open. it looks to me to be somewhere between the 11th and the iath floor, but i cannot count from the bottom, so i am not sure, but we have watched that person come periodically to the
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window and just really onlookers here arejust window and just really onlookers here are just waiting to see what will become of that person. usama, i am so sorry will become of that person. usama, i am so sorry to interrupt you. can you repeat what he has said? you have seen somebody at the window on the 11th floor in the last few moments? it is a person who we have seen moments? it is a person who we have seen for about almost one and a half hours, when that person first appeared and now the windows closed again, ican appeared and now the windows closed again, i can report, so there is someone again, i can report, so there is someone in that flat who came to the window almost two hours ago, one and a half hours ago. the crowd audibly reacted and we have been watching for a while. that is where the hydraulic platform came up near the outside of the building and the emergency responders have been focusing on that area to see what they can do to keep the fire under control and perhaps rescue that person. i can see him actively now at the window. his or her hand is up
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to herface, at the window. his or her hand is up to her face, perhaps at the window. his or her hand is up to herface, perhaps on the phone. we have been watching that person come to and from the window. 0k, we will just stress for viewers watching now, usama, we cannot see that, so it is hard to confirm what is going on. hugely distressing if thatis is going on. hugely distressing if that is in fact correct. usama, you have been here through the night. the first call to the london fire brigade was around i2:a5am. just describe the area, a very diverse, dense area with small victorian roads, edwardian roads, very difficult for the emergency services to reach this particular building. that's absolutely right. from what i understand it is really one road in, one wrote out kind of situation. i am standing in an area, i can see perhaps ia or 15 emergency vehicles position here and not really interacting with the situation because i assume theyjust can't get close enough to do anything. emergency responders of course have
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disembarked from the vehicles and are working to help people and control the situation but it is clear — and from what i have heard from other people, it was frustrating for emergency services to get close enough to deal with the situation. and we obviously would have hoped that they would have been able to do more to save the building. when it first started it was just building. when it first started it wasjust on one building. when it first started it was just on one side of the building, the fire, top to bottom and it moved left to right from my perspective and it was slow going but it continued to go and go and go and go and, really, we didn't know what to do to stop it. the area is as you say really tight, and old roads, it is very diverse, this particular tower block is council state housing, and we have obviously in the area other private housing, colleges, schools and community centres and, really, i am still seeing debris falling from the side of the building. a lot of the facade
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is new and was revamped by the council as part of a large project to remodel the exterior of the building. usama, given that this building. usama, given that this building has been on fire for such a long time, about four hours or so, have you got any details about the possibility of the building collapsing — have you been told to move away? what information have you been getting on the ground? on the ground we have not been told to move away. i am about 500 metres— 600. perhaps i am in a safe spot. we have not moved close so we have not been told to move back, but i have had a good vantage point the entire time, so this is where i have stayed with members of family and local residents. we haven't been told anything specific, though i heard that police have advised people that... to stay out of the area as much as possible because of the risk of collapse. it is a concrete
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structure from what i understand, from local residents i have spoken to, so that has led some to believe it can survive this. but the fire has continued forjust so long i am not sure if that is the case. and the other concern is that this housing was most likely built with materials that could be hazardous to people's health, so what i have heard advised through friends and networks is that if there is asbestos in the building, it the dust from the collapse could be very harmful to people in the local area. we have had no confirmation as to any hazardous materials within this building. we are still waiting to hear from building. we are still waiting to hearfrom a spokesperson building. we are still waiting to hear from a spokesperson from kensington and chelsea tenant management organisation, the organisation who runs this building. in terms of the details of the people who have left the building, do you know where they have been taken to? i heard that there is a
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christian centre where people can go for shelter. just to get their thoughts together? that's correct. yes, lata christian centre is a designated assistant spot for survivors and i understand also in the lata road underground station people have been receiving help —— latimer christian centre. someone has got out, we have heard, someone got out is what we are hearing from the crowd, so lots of elation here in the area, people running around saying someone got out. i can't confirm who that is or where that happened. we are just trying to listen into the background noise behind you. so, you're suggesting that your hearing people behind you saying that somebody has got out four hours after this plays got started ? four hours after this plays got started? yes, i can see people running, saying someone got out, i can't confirm it, they were closer to the event and i was and they are
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running towards that direction. u nfortu nately i running towards that direction. unfortunately i can't confirm that but just hearing the unfortunately i can't confirm that butjust hearing the crowd sort of uproarandi butjust hearing the crowd sort of uproar and i just wanted butjust hearing the crowd sort of uproar and ijust wanted to report on that. thank you for doing that. in terms of, usama, we are watching the building, the top view of the building — what is happening on the ground? are there people standing around, people observing what is taking place, these dramatic images of the fire still actively holding some of the top higher up floors of the building at grenfell tower? absolutely, there are people here in this one cul—de—sac, at maximum there were 200 people, may be down to about 75 onlookers, people concerned about family and friends. a lot of people who know people in that the state, and we heard stories obviously of people who have gotten out or have not gotten out. i personally met three families that
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did come out on their own accord when they heard something was going on, when they heard that there was a fire, and those families have gotten out. and i spoke with them and they have gone to seek refuge elsewhere. so, ican have gone to seek refuge elsewhere. so, i can confirm, you know, first—hand that some people did become aware of the fire and leave the building. usama, when he spoke to those people, some of the families who got out, were they in a position to speak to you? i imagine they were hugely distressed? they we re they were hugely distressed? they were hugely distressed. i saw one father with a young daughter, the daughter was bleary eyed holding a blanket and just confused, this was before sunrise, and they were on a floor just above the before sunrise, and they were on a floorjust above the initial incident, where the fire started, and they said that they heard something very strange and just decided to leave. they were not aware specifically of the fire but they heard i believe a loud sound and decided to just leave on their
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own accord and thankfully they did get out. and that was also a person known to one of my family members, so when we saw them on the road, thatis so when we saw them on the road, that is why we spoke to them and they confirmed that they had gotten out. and we have reports of other family friends who have gotten out as well. and do you know where those people are going to? the lata christian centre is what we have been told. i haven't been myself. i am thinking of going to see what the situation is like —— latima. am thinking of going to see what the situation is like -- latima. thank you so much for speaking to us. yen are not displays which unfolded, the london fire brigade called to g re nfell tower the london fire brigade called to grenfell tower in latimer road. this was the image which witnesses had seen was the image which witnesses had seenin was the image which witnesses had seen in the middle of the night. absolutely devastating fire taking
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hold of grenfell tower. 27 floors. we believe there were many people living in the block. it had been relatively recently refurbished but we believe most of the residents had returned to that block. kensington and chelsea tenant management organisation, the organisation which ru ns organisation, the organisation which runs this tower block, 27 stories, a0 fire engines containing more than 200 firefighters, attending the scene throughout the night. i2:a5am was when that first call came in to this huge, huge fire taking place in a narrow called north kensington and anybody familiar will be —— familiar with this will know it's not far from notting hill. if you've been to notting hill carnival all portobello road market, this is a densely populated area. many different types of buildings there. also what we
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call community housing, ex— former will —— former council residents. a lot of affluent victorian and edwardian buildings but this one, huge towers. 27 storeys high. the g re nfell tower huge towers. 27 storeys high. the grenfell tower that was occupied by 200 flats we are estimating and that first call coming in at i2:5a a.m.. in the middle of the night. sandro was on her way to latimer road to look for her 30—year—old niece. jessica went missing. shejoins us on the line. have you heard from her. we haven't heard from her. somebody lent her a phone and she rang her mum at 1:29am and then again ati:39am. she
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rang her mum at 1:29am and then again at 1:39am. she was with a group of people in the fire escape. they live on the 20th floor. my sister—in—law was coming back from work. jessica called her to say this happened. that is the last they have heard of her. my sister and myself have been sharing on social media so if anybody has seen her, i've had friends go to the christian centre. she is only 12 years old, 13 next month. she would have been in her bedclothes. she was very, very, very scared. scared little girl. we are desperate to find her. what does jessica look like in case any of our viewers are listening? dark curly
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hair, a golden complexion, we are latin americans are latin american features. she is quite small for her age. petite. dark brown eyes and a beautiful smile. sandra, re-, jessica is nearly 13, dark curly hair. she called her mother in the fire escape. that was at 1:29am and again at1:39am and fire escape. that was at 1:29am and again at 1:39am and the call was cut off. we don't know if it was because the battery went out or other people we re the battery went out or other people were trying to get in touch with family members from the same phone. i don't know. my brother and sister—in—law have been trying to speak to the authorities but obviously they are concerned with the immediate problem, getting people out. at the moment, my son is
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ringing around the local hospitals to see if she has been admitted that we've not heard anything at all.m is we've not heard anything at altm is devastating. you have got social media in action. tells a bit more about that. it is being shared quite widely now. also on facebook. we have had local friends widely now. also on facebook. we have had localfriends going out to just search the area for her, showing her the picture. sandra, who would jessica have been in the flat with? she was on her own but her dad was a few floors down at a friend ‘s flat. as her father got out? he was much further down. he was on the fourth floor. and just remind us, she was on... the 20th floor. she
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managed to call her mother at 1:29am and at1:39am she managed to call her mother at 1:29am and at 1:39am she called again but that call cutout? yes. the first call to the london fire brigade is at 12:a5 a.m.. jessica, nearly 13 yea rs at 12:a5 a.m.. jessica, nearly 13 years old, sandra ruiz, you are her aunt. when you say you are talking to the authorities, we are hearing about the christian centre nearby we re about the christian centre nearby were allotted the evacuees have been taken to. i have had friends go there with her picture on the facebook posts. i've also had my nephew go there as well. with got family members in the area already. is that the only family member who is still unaccounted for? that's right. we really wish you the best of luck for the search would
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jessica. would you please let us know when you get more information? ijust ask know when you get more information? i just ask everyone to pray for her. jessica, nearly 13 years old, the last phone call to her mother was at 139. the family at desperately anxious looking for the nearly 13—year—old little girl who must be absolutely terrified having been on the 20th floor and that fired broke out. simon lederman is our correspondent to is there. a terrifying night. very early on, it became clear of the sheer scale of what was unfolding before us. the news we head through, that we were dealing with a 2a— story block, confirmed as the grenfell tower.
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some are saying it is 27 stories but the best we can tell you is that the architects who are carrying out the refurbishment say it is 2a stories. it was a fire that simply engulf the building. we were having calls from all parts of london. saying that they could see displays. and its resulting smoke from many miles away. a very concerning scene because we had people talking about the firefighters having difficulty getting their appliances in because of the way the streets are very narrow, those people had been the area. the notting hill carnival, if you've been you will know how difficult the streets are. but also because of the confusion and how quickly the fire spread. you've been there throughout the night. we are hearing from somebody who is desperately searching for their nearly 13—year—old niece. do we know about the people who have managed to get out? do we know there are still
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people unaccounted for as we have been hearing so far? the sense we are getting is that there are significant numbers of people unaccounted for. because we have had in the eyewitnesses we have spoken to who have managed to leave that building are fewer than those stories of people, who we don't know their whereabouts. the concern that we have had before, i don't know how many of your viewers will remember the lack of all house fire which took place in 2000 night, southwark council recently fined £600,000 over that fateful tower block fire. there was a sense that at that stage the official advice is that if a fire brea ks official advice is that if a fire breaks out in your block, stay where you are. the sense from those people on the ground, who we spoke to, will say that would be not good advice. those who got out early, those
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people who did not get out early unaccounted for. one amazing story ofa unaccounted for. one amazing story of a young man whose aunt lived towards the top of the building. she managed to get out early. she is in shock. he was horrified at the prospect of losing her. she was able to escape. another caller who got out with the assistance of the fire service. when he left the building, the whole of the corridors were enveloped by smoke. he went down the stairs that were available but many of these staircases are not usable. the firefighters shouting to him, don't leave by the emergency exit at the back. why? because there is falling masonry. as soon as he left, he was shouted out by the firefighters, run, run. these are two very small examples and i don't have many others and that is the tragedy. we have heard of ambulances arriving. there you can make up your
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own appalling conclusions as to what may have happened to many of the families in that block. if we are talking about 2a floors, we are talking about 2a floors, we are talking about 2a floors, we are talking about 200 flats. a significant number of people. just reflect what you are saying. the recent blog published by the g re nfell tower recent blog published by the grenfell tower action group, residents working together in this block, saying that the information that was, a temporary notice stuck ina that was, a temporary notice stuck in a lift, suggesting that residents should remain in theirflats in the event of a fire. reiterating what you are saying. that was a temporary notice stuck in a lift of grenfell tower. that is according to a blog on the grand fell action group website. a tragic circumstance and chain of events. on various
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websites, there are quite positive views of the regeneration. this is from the architects website to deliver the regeneration of the g re nfell tower deliver the regeneration of the grenfell tower and this is what they say. grenfell tower is a 2a— story residential regeneration project, power —— the tower is part of lancaster power —— the tower is part of la ncaster west power —— the tower is part of lancaster west estate from the 19705. lancaster west estate from the 1970s. new windows, new installation, new cladding and a complex upgrade to the heating system and there are questions that many people are asking. we can't link the two because we have absolutely no idea what the fire. these other sports, this is conjecture that the questions people have been asking is how it was possible that the concrete building was able to catch fire so significantly quickly so, for example, you've been reporting, and you think this is an accurate time, the fire starting around 12:5a a.m.. we began rolling news at about
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1:30am and we were already seeing images of an entire 2a— story building from the bottom to the top engulfed by flames. that is what many people are questioning, how was that possible? that will come out in the investigation in the short—term. but mostly —— but the immediate concern is that people in the block. simon, you know the area very well. this is a diverse area with lots of and wordy and in victorian houses. the notting hill carnival territory. —— edwardian. you have these estates with just a handful of these huge tower blocks. and it's not the first time there were issues in the area. anybody who knows london will no trellick tower. it is an imposing building, loved and hated because of
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the ability to see it from semi— parts of town. 200 people were forced to leave. what actually happened and what took place. this was caused, they believe, by carelessly thrown away cigarette and we don't know what happened in this situation but this was one flat on the 27th floor of the trellick tower, a woman and two children were evacuated before the fire service arrived. but at that stage, it was eight fire engines to arrive at the scene. we did not see building go up in flames but in the case of the trellick tower, in the same way we have seen in the case of the g re nfell tower have seen in the case of the grenfell tower and we have had the mayor of london on twitter an ounce in that he is calling this, declaring this an emergency for obvious reasons because there are just so many people involved in this. —— announcing. notjust people
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fighting the fire but those who are caught tragically in those flats. and also, it is a close—knit community, those people who are simply worried. yes, you speak of trellick tower, that took place in april earlier this year with 200 evacuated from that particular flat, and you describe the love hate relationship with the huge tower blocks. trellick tower, grade two listed building, designed by mand goldfinger, one of those where some people love it, some hate it, as is often the case with a huge tower blocks. thank you very much for the time being. 0ur bbc london reporter who, as we have heard, knows the area very well, simon letterman speaking to us. he has been throughout the night monitoring the event at grenfell tower.

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