tv BBC Business Live BBC News June 14, 2017 8:30am-9:01am BST
celsius. i'm back in of a hon. we will keep you up—to—dated on the huge fire at the grenfell tower block. you're watching breakfast. let's bring you on the latest on the devastating fire that devastate add 27 storey block in west london. london's fire commissioner declared a major incident. she said there have been a number of fatalities, but can't confirm how many. she described the blaze as unprecedented and said she had never seen anything on that scale in her 29 year career career. richard lister has the latest. the fire raged through the night. this 27 storey block, home to hundreds of people, was engulfed in flame. in the chaos, it was unclear how many were able to get out. some were trapped inside for sometime at least, standing at windows in the desperate hope of rescue.
those trapped on the lower floors could see fire crews trying to get to them, but higher up the building the inferno was too intense to let rescuers get close. people living nearby alerted by the smell of smoke, came to the site and filmed what they saw. many had come to see if they could help, but with flaming debris falling from the tower block their lives were at risk too. they need to ring 999 and there is a dedicated line for this incident. 0k? on the ground, police cleared a wide cordon and closed the nearby aao in and out of london. some 200 fire engines were brought in to tackle the blaze. as the hours passed, the concern was whether the building might collapse and who might still be trapped inside. many people were led to safety, but some 30 were taken to hospital. others were counting their blessings. david benjamin was in the block when the fire began. there was smoke everywhere.
literally everywhere. there was people downstairs. there was bits of cladding falling off the block that was on fire. people screaming. after a couple of minutes, because people were still sleeping on the higher floors so they didn't have a clue what was going on. i'm not even sure if half of them got out to be honest with you. daylight revealed the fire still well alight. the situation still far from under control and more stories emerging of the panic overnight. me and my brother and some other people who lived in the area ran over to the estate where you could actually still get underneath it and people were throwing their kids out, "just save my children, just save my children" and the fire brigade and the ambulance and the police, they couldn't do nothing. they couldn't get in. they were telling them to stay where they are. we'll come and get you. but things quickly escalated. the block is now a smoking ruin. how the fire began is still unclear as is the full extent of the casualties.
london fire brigade though has confirmed that have number of people have died. yes, just keeping you up—to—date with the information coming in to us. with the information coming in to us. in the last 15 minutes london ambulance service confirming that 50 people have been treated so far, taken to five london hospitals. you can see the live images on the screen now of what the tower block looks like this morning. so the press c0 nfe re nce looks like this morning. so the press conference in the last half an hour was from london's fire commissioner confirming there had been a number of fatalities. from the second floor upwards. i have over 200 of my firefighters and officers attending this incident with 40 officers attending this incident with a0 fire engines and a range of specialist vehicles including ia fire rescue units in attendance. based on the level of resource that was needed at this fryer, we clared
this a major incident very early this a major incident very early this morning. london fire brigade's control room took multiple calls to this incident with the first call coming in at six minutes to one o'clock. 0ur coming in at six minutes to one o'clock. our first fire engines were on scene in under six minutes. crews wearing breathing apparatus and extended duration breathing apparatus have been working in extremely challenging and very difficult conditions to rescue people and to bring this major fire under control. london ambulance service have been firmed that currently 30 people have been taken to five hospitals. at this time, i am very sad to confirm that there have been a number of fatalities. i cannot confirm the number at this time due to the size and complexity of this building and it would clearly be wrong for me to speculate further. equally, the cause of this
fire is not known at this stage. we will be here all day and we will provide further updates. we are working very closely with our collea g u es working very closely with our colleagues in the metropolitan police and the london ambulance service to bring this situation under control. further information for the public will be made available shortly including advice for those concerned about those who are working here and people who live here. the emergency services will continue to work with all agencies including the local authority to support all affected by this incident. thank you very much. that was the london fire commissioner, dany cotton speaking this morning. we have heard from the metropolitan police confirming also that there have been a number of fatalities and there are others receiving medical care. we understand from the london ambulance service that 50 people have been taken to hospital. it's likely that
commander stewart cundy said it will ta ke commander stewart cundy said it will take sometime before the emergency services can establish the cause of the fire, but released a number for the fire, but released a number for the casualty bureau which is 0800 0961 233. this is the numberfor anyone 0961 233. this is the number for anyone who 0961 233. this is the numberfor anyone who is concerned about loved ones, in relation to the fire. this is the number that they should use. 0800 0961 233. it number that they should use. 0800 0961233. it is worth saying this morning, we're hearing some very harrowing stories of those caught up in the fire it's deaf and tim muffett is at one of the centres where they have been helping some of those caught up in the events. tim you've had a chance to speak to some of those who did successfully escape from the building? yes, we did. some truly harrowing tales as you say this morning t charlie. people gathering here just talking to each other, crying, distraught at what has taken place. we spoke to mickey, you were on the seventh floor. just remind us what happened to you last night. well, between one and half
past one i was in bed asleep with my girlfriend. she was fast asleep. we had a child in the flat in the next i’ooiti had a child in the flat in the next room and i could smell plastic and because we've got kindle and iment pads, i thought it might be one of those. i jumped out pads, i thought it might be one of those. ijumped out of bed and everything was fine and i could still smell the smell. i went to the kitchen to have a significant are the andl kitchen to have a significant are the and i could hear shouting and screaming and someone saying, "it's getting bigger. it's getting biggerment" i went to the front door andl biggerment" i went to the front door and i looked through the spy hole and i looked through the spy hole and everyone is screaming get out, there is a fire. i went inside and grabbed my dressing—down and i grabbed my dressing—down and i grabbed my dressing—down and i grabbed my little girl and ran down the stairs, passed the fourth floor where the fire was and was outside looking up at the tower and it was like something out of a movie. it was horrific. it wasjust like something out of a movie. it was horrific. it was just aplays and it was going quicker and quicker. it was like bang, bang, bang. i could see people screaming at windows,
"get us out." it was like a horror movie. i'm still shook now. people have been trying to come to terms with what happened. it was that decision to get out as quickly as possible. it wasjust natural ins stint. get the kid out and make sure she's safe. there she is, bless her heart. that was my natural instinct because they told us before if there isa fire because they told us before if there is a fire in that block, put a towel underneath your door and it's fireproof for an hour. i weren't hanging about for another hour in there. we had to get out of there and get out of there lively. that's my little stepdaughter, thear. when you talked to other people, what have they been saying? people have lost people. there was a woman on the 12th floor, she is left with her six kids and when she got to the ground floor, there is only four with her. there is people on the 26th floor saying they're stuck and can't get out. the stairwell that we
got out on was on fire. thank god we got out on was on fire. thank god we got there when we did. it was just horrendous. it's still blazing now. it's still blazing now. we've lost everything, but that can all be replaced. we're here, that's the main thing, you know. the other people who, you have spoken to who are also in the block. was it the speed which caught everyone by surprise? well, the block of flats we re surprise? well, the block of flats were covered in cadding in the last two years and it looked like plastic like the school, you know, the academy next to it. i thought that looked flammable because it's plastic. it didn't look like something that would hold back a fire. lo and behold, it was someone's fridge on the fourth floor that exploded. do you think that, today there apart from the human tragedy, there is a logistical thing
about where people are going to live? there is emergency centres being opened. i ran out with no clothes on. i have been given tracksuit bottoms and t—shirt and flippers by someone on the street that had a bag with a load of clothes. hardly anyone had clothes on, they were just escaping from the block and so, yes, now we're here and the family is coming down and my itiuiti and the family is coming down and my mum is on her way and everyone is lucky that we are alive. they are trying to ring us and there is no ring. so everyone is thinking the worst, but thank god i didn't fall into a worst, but thank god i didn't fall intoa deep worst, but thank god i didn't fall into a deep sleep. you rescued your stepdaughter. 0k, darling. it is probably time for you to spend sometime together. i'm glad you did manage to get out. thank you very much indeed. well, one harrowing story there, one of many, fortu nately story there, one of many, fortunately that one had a happy ending, but this morning, you stand here and you look at people who are just completely devastated and i'm
convinced that we'll hear many, many more harrowing stories as the day progresses. it is a truly desperate scene. progresses. it is a truly desperate scene. indeed, tim, thank you very much. we will warn viewers that there are some many distressing stories that you're hearing. what we are seeing now this morning is g re nfell tower, are seeing now this morning is grenfell tower, seven—and—a—half, eight hours after a fire broke out in the early hours of this morning in north—west london and there are still flames in the tower and firefighters tackling it from all sides trying to bring this plays under control. and the building under control. and the building under some control as well in terms of safety. there are concerns about it's stability after such a huge fire which escalated very, very quickly we hearfrom fire which escalated very, very quickly we hear from eyewitnesses this morning. yes, many of the eyewitnesses we have spoken to saying the same thing which is within a very short space of time, what was, what appears to have been some kind of explosion or the fire began maybe on the fourth floor. the
fire escalated very quickly. we just heard mikey talking about his first hand experience of that. let's hear another of the eyewitness accounts now from jodie martin who lives nearby and was one of the first on the scene. i havejust nearby and was one of the first on the scene. i have just been watching people in their windows, flashing with their phones and then slowly watching those apartments get engulfed in flames and smoke. my opinion that there is going to be a lot of dead people in there that building. they couldn't have got out. the second top window, i saw a family of three in there and then slowly i watched the smoke get worse and worse. they were clambering to the windowsment you could see them trying to wave blankets to try and
get oxygen into themselves and then slowly one at a time they have just not been at the window anymore. also in the other corner, the top corner, there was a lady there screaming for help. her whole apartment is burnt out. glass is gone. everything has gone and she didn't get out. my partner saw someone gone and she didn't get out. my partner saw someone fall from there. i have seen people on the outside of the building clambering around. i saw a lady on the middle section of the window holding your toddler outside. screaming for help. yes, it's a disaster and my opinion is, it's a disaster and my opinion is, it's tens of casualties, if not up to 100, you know. there isjust no way people could have got out of there. so those are the images from there. so those are the images from the early hours of this morning. 0ne of the eyewitness accounts there. these are the images we are seeing live. in fact if you look at the screen live. in fact if you look at the screen to the right there, you can
see there are still fires burning within the tower block. in terms of the casualties and the injuries, it has been confirmed by emergency services, there are a number of fatalities. they are not able to go into anymore details at the moment. the london ambulance service saying as well they've treated more than 50 people, taken to five local hospitals. we can talk to andy moore who is 500 meters away from the burning building. andy, good morning. good morning. yes, you can see eight hours after the fire started, it is still burning. every now and again you think it must be burnt out and then it flairs up again. the fire service has still got their hoses on the bottom of the building. they're trying to stop the fla mes building. they're trying to stop the fla m es lower building. they're trying to stop the flames lower down. higher up, it's just been left to burn. there is nothing they can do about it. we've had statements now from the fire
service, from the ambulance service and from the police. the fire service saying sadly that there will be fatalities. they talked about dealing with an unprecedented fire. from the ambulance service, we have had that updated statement saying they're dealing with, they took more than 50 cas olts to five different hospitals and we've had a very brief statement from the police saying that they were sent to assist the fire brigade in and the london ambulance service. they say they confirm also there have been a number of fatalities and a number of other people they say are receiving medical care and they've also set—up a casualty bureau. the fire still birding and pictures are merging of people who may have been trapped in the blaze. you mention the casualty bureau, the
numberfor mention the casualty bureau, the number for anyone concerned about a loved one, they should contact the number below. we will take advantage of you being near the scene, you have been observing this throughout the morning, the cordon around the building, there has been a lot of talk about the stability of the building. the flames are still rolling inside in the middle of the building, but the cordon has been expanded, can you explain what you are seeing on the ground in terms of the number of emergency services, where the evacuations have taken place in terms of the proximity to the building? what happens when we first arrived was there was a police cordon already in place, we arrived around 2am but it was pushed back, the police officers shouting at people, saying they feared the
building might collapse, the situation now at this distance is now under control. i can see a lot of emergency vehicles down below me. we have just seen a turntable ladder are arriving from the surrey fire service so that an indication of the resources being drawn in to fight this fire. we know there were a5 engines initially on the scene here with about 200 firefighters. it may well be there are even more resources here now. you well be there are even more resources here now. you might be able to see there is a fire vehicle, fire truck with some oxygen bottles being off—loaded. we have seen fire officers kitted up with breathing apparatus, we do not know if they are still going into the building but certainly they are still wearing the kit and using the breathing apparatus. we know for sure they went into the building in the early hours of the morning, into a
smoke—filled corridor and hallways to try to rescue people. we have heard about a coordinated effort by the emergency services, we heard the first call to the fire brigade was at six minutes to one o'clock this morning, dany cotton the london fire commissioner said the fire brigade was on the scene within six minutes, a similar timescale from the metropolitan police as well. 200 firefighters, numerous emergency services at the scene and also trying to keep people calm and controlled in the area as well? yes, we arrived at 2am, we could see the fire, very intense fire from some distance. by then it had been blazing for about an hour and the whole building from top to bottom was ablaze. the emergency services we re was ablaze. the emergency services were here in force, at that stage they had already established the
cordon. what we could see in the early hours of the morning perhaps 3m, aam, you could see on the left—hand side of the building there is one corner that has not been damaged, a hydraulic platform there, nobody on top of it, it is operated from the ground and you can see the hall was playing on the building. we saw somebody in the window of one of those flats, probably about the tenth floor. there were not flames in that particular section of the building. they came to the window, looked out, moved back in, name came to the window again, we can only assume that was a resident. that section of the building has not been engulfed in flames so we can only hope the fire service managed to get inside the building and from inside managed to rescue that person. thank you very much, andy moore, correspondent about 500 metres from
the building, caught alight in the early hours of this morning, firefighters and emergency services have been at the scene centred around 1am local time. you are watching extended coverage of a major incident in west london this morning. let's give you a sense of the building itself, granville power, around 1a0 flats in all in the building, eyewitnesses who say there are about 500 people who live in the apartments, it's a mixture of families, many families and elderly people as well and eyewitnesses have been describing how some people were able to make an escape, this is in the early hours of the morning, people are merging and dressing gowns and the jammers, making their way out of the blaze, at this stage, in terms of the official information we have, the emergency authorities saying there have been casualties,
more than 50 people attended to and taken to five london hospitals. we are expecting a statement from sadiq khan in a few minutes, from london. we understand he has already said questions need to be answered following this deadly fire at g re nfell tower. following this deadly fire at grenfell tower. we are trying to give you a picture of the sequence of events but practical problems coming up this morning because of the scale of the evacuation and all the scale of the evacuation and all the questions about who might still be missing, tim moffat has been speaking to a local councillor.|j
first speaking to a local councillor.” first received a call at about 3am this morning, i came here as soon as i could. i try to ensure the council's emergency planning team we re council's emergency planning team were able to provide support to people who had been immediately affected and evacuated from the tower and i affected and evacuated from the towerand i am affected and evacuated from the tower and i am pleased to say they have been able to do that. there are emergency centres nearby, the fire brigade are clearly in attendance on a massive scale, have been for several hours and it looks like they will be here for a lot longer. when we have more information we will share it and i'm sure the fire brigade will well. what we know about this block of flats, do we know how many people live there? there are 130 flats or thereabouts but we do not know who was in those flats, clearly a fire in the middle of the night suggests more people are at home and at other times of the day and it may take longer to evacuate. we do not know how many people precisely were in there, may
have been staying with friends may have been staying with friends may have been staying with friends may have been absent, that will need to be established and the emergency services are doing a wonderfuljob, they will be helping people who might have been trapped. were you aware of concerns raised about these flats before? there are always concerned about high—rise buildings and what the fire procedures are and the regulations are, there are regulations, blocks are regularly inspected. regular inspections will be commissioned and there will need to bea be commissioned and there will need to be a thorough investigation as to what has been investigated here and what has been investigated here and what the cause of the fire was and why it appears to have spread so rapidly. you mention the speed, it's taken so many people by surprise, so many people are astonished by it, is that which you have heard? yes, we heard about it and when you come into the air you can see how
extensive the blaze is, there will need to be a full and thorough investigation as to why a fire which started presumably in one flat spread so quickly. going back to life images now, those of you who have been with us during our extended coverage this morning, you will have seen the scale of the damage in some of the wide shots but looking at these close—up images you can see that clearly there are still fla mes can see that clearly there are still flames coming from the building itself. we know the fire officers are still on the scene but yes, still, you can see the fire raging within the building itself, these are life images. emergency services coming together all morning, fire services from the surrounding counties have been called to the scene to assist the london fire brigade and the london ambulance service. we have been bringing new eyewitness accounts this morning, those who have escaped
the blaze, those who have been helping others, understandably some of these have been very distressing and very emotional, should add that warning ahead of an itinerant we are going to bring you. we spoke to a gentleman called paul who saw people trying to escape. i woke up at around 130 this morning to look across the road and see the grenfell tower, towering inferno, blaze, fire coming out of every window, windows smashing and exposing. things falling out, people screaming, peoplejumping falling out, people screaming, people jumping out on fire, throwing ropes down they had made out of bed sheets to try to climb out. complete nightmare. absolute nightmare. the people you have been speaking to, what else have they been saying? everyone has been in tears, so upset, people who have not got out
and upset about how it has happened and upset about how it has happened and how this catastrophe could happen in london after it'sjust been refurbished. where other concerns raised before about the safety aspect at all? not that i know of. you would think after millions of pounds was spent on the tower block that it would be safe and you would think that this event, evenif and you would think that this event, even if a fire did happen through electric or gas, that that could not happen after spending millions of pounds on a river abridgement. as it isa pounds on a river abridgement. as it is a dead happen and the blaze has been going on since 1am which i think is a complete, well, terrible, pathetic, not up to what it should be. you can hear the shock from many of the eyewitnesses watching events unfold, andy moore amongst them, you arrived in the early hours this morning and you watched as the fire
took hold so quickly, we are just waiting to get hold of andy at the moment, but many of the eyewitnesses we spoke to said given the fire began, we understand just before 1am, the early hours of the morning and what is emerging is that very quickly the flames engulfed many, many quickly the flames engulfed many, ma ny followers quickly the flames engulfed many, many followers of the apartment block. indeed the london fire brigade saying this morning that essentially the fire engulfed all but the first two floras, from the second floor upwards there was extensive damage. let's talk to andy moore who has been at the scene, can you give us an update of what you are seeing now? the fire has been burning for eight hours, every now and again you think it has burnt itself out and then it will flare up again. you can see perhaps the top
left—hand corner this very fierce fire in that particular section of the building. the firefighters are using hoses on the lower sections but cannot reach up that high so it's left to burn out of control. it has been burning for eight hours and it continues to burn. there are fears for the structure of the building, you can see flaming debris still falling. the general public have been moved back forfear that it could collapse. we cannot see the firefighters themselves, you can see the engines are very close to the building... inaudible there must be a fear looking at the fierceness of the fire that it could collapse... andy moore, thank you for your coverage, describing the
scene for your coverage, describing the scene at the moment as firefighters continue to tackle the building which still you can see flames inside the building, we had reports of fire began somewhere around the fourth floor and quickly expanded, reaching the top floors, many eyewitnesses this morning saying how shocked they were at the ferocity and speed at which this fire spread. latest numbers we can bring new is that the london ambulance service has said it has treated more than 50 people, more than 50 people who have been taken to hospital. the london for a good —— been taken to hospital. the london fora good —— fire been taken to hospital. the london for a good —— fire brigade confirming a number of casualties as has the metropolitan police. people have been urged to stay away from the area. this is where we leave you on breakfast but you can keep date with events when victoria derbyshire ta kes with events when victoria derbyshire takes over with the bbc news special. there will be continued coverage throughout the day on bbc
news and updates here on breakfast from 6am. until then goodbye. good morning this. is bbc news. it's 9am. a huge fire has torn through a block of flats in west london. a number of fatalities have been confirmed and people are still thought to be trapped. there was smoke everywhere. literally everywhere. there was people downstairs. there was bits of the cladding falling off the block that was on fire. people screaming. after a couple of minutes because obviously people were still sleeping on the higher floors so they didn't have a clue what was going on. they need to ring 999 and there is a dedicated line for this incident, 0k? the emergency services were called to the grenfell tower in north kensington around 1am this morning with flames covering most of the block.