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tv   BBC News  BBC News  June 15, 2017 3:00am-3:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name's mike embley. our top stories: at least 12 people have died after a huge fire swept through a west london tower block, many people are still missing and police warn the number of victims is likely to rise. eyewitnesses say the flames engulfed the 2a story building within 30 minutes with people desperately trying to escape. people were screaming, people were jumping out on fire, throwing down roads made out of bedsheets to try to climb out. just a complete nightmare, absolute nightmare. firefighters desperately struggled to reach the upper floors but were repelled by the heat and falling debris. it was so dark and so much smoke was there. there was people running down the stairs, some people had luggage, it was so much confusion. also this hour, our other top story: the washington post claims president trump is being investigated for possible obstruction of justice. hello.
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with fires still burning in parts of grenfell tower, more than 2a hours after the west london tower block was engulfed in flames, scores of people are still missing. 12 are confirmed dead, but police expect that figure to rise significantly. fire crews have not yet been able to search every floor of the 2a—storey building. 3a people are in hospital, 18 of them critically ill. our coverage begins with the bbc‘s home editor, mark easton. oh my god, they're screaming! it is a tragedy that plays to our darkest fears. the fire started between midnight and 1am, the screams from the flats
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and 1am, the screams from the flats and the acrid smell of burning waking neighbours. it wasjust people jumping out, literally. and putting sheets down to try to get out of the building. windows exploding, big, massive pieces of debris falling to the floor. we came here, saw people jumping off. people calling... you saw people jumping off? yeah. people had jumped off because they had no other option to. how high up? the top floor. i saw someone jump. someone was on fire and they jumped too. he didn't make it. some people have picked up their kids and threw them out for the police to pick them up because there was no other way out of the building. did you see that as well? i saw kids standing at the window screaming, "help me, help me, i can't breathe, help me." the fire tore through the 2a—storey council block in this part of north kensington. on the seventh floor, this family were led to safety. there was smoke everywhere, people screaming. the neighbours were coming out.
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there was a fireman there going, "get out, get out." iran back injust my boxer shorts, put my dressing gown on, grabbed the little girl, put her under my dressing gown to cover her face from the smoke, got my girlfriend up. ran down the stairs, we're on the seventh, as we're running down we've gone to the fourth floor and it was pitch black. many people, numb with shock, frantically searched to find missing friends and relatives. this woman's sister and 12—year—old nephew were unaccounted for. my sister with her son, yeah. how old was he? he is 12 years old. that is why i am scared. a 12—year—old boy? as well as the smoke and the thick smell in the air, a tension, numb shock, hangs over this area. in the 21st century, in a country with some of the strictest fire regulations in the world, a desperate tragedy like this just should not happen. what floor are you on?!
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huh?! seven, yeah? well into the morning, the crowds watching the horror unfold in front of them reported seeing people still trapped in the block. i saw somebody there. waving, in white. in a white shirt? white shirt, yeah. a man was eventually brought out by the emergency services at noon. this off—duty nurse helped tend to some of the injured rescued from the building. i've seen some things, but today... i can't even describe it. there's mothers that have come out and lost their children. there are firefighters that have come out injured. we don't know if they are even going to come out safe. people have lost their homes, children have seen things, people jumping out the window. we just need to rebuild as a community now. this is a neighbourhood
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that feels ignored. there's anger on the streets. people demanding answers. this is your building, isn't it? we have a number of high—rise buildings here and of course in other parts of london. they do have to meet stringent safety and fire safety standards, and in a refurbishment, there will be a thorough inspection by the fire authorities, so... doesn't appear to have worked, though, does it? it clearly hasn't worked, and we will need to get the bottom of what has gone wrong. the streets of north kensington are littered with ashes. the charred homework of a school child blown from grenfell tower. this neighbourhood is also shrouded with grief from a tragedy that's not over. mark easton, bbc news, north kensington. live now to the scene. our reporter sarah corker is there. what is the latest, sarah? it's an
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eerie scene, mike, in the distance behind me you might be able to make out the black, smouldering tower block. fire crews have been working through the night in difficult conditions. over the last half an hour or so we saw conditions. over the last half an hour 01’ so we saw some conditions. over the last half an hour or so we saw some firefighters on top of a crane and they were shining lights floor by floor into this building and, if you look closely, you might still be able to see that some flats are still on fire more than 2a hours on. over the course of the day fire crews also used drones to check the integrity of this building, because as you can imagine, there are some parts that will be very difficult to get to. and the images from those drones as you can imagine will be very useful for the fire crews to determine their plan going forward and what they do next in this long recovery operation. sarah, you will have been hearing the same stories that some muslim residents of the block awake and ready to take their predawn meal before beginning their ramadan fast
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we re before beginning their ramadan fast were a lifeline for their neighbours because they were waking up those still asleep. now we're seeing a whole load of people from around london coming together to help so many people who are now homeless. this seems to be entirely unofficial? absolutely. speaking to the many volunteers we have seen through the course of the night, they are all saying the same thing, they are all saying the same thing, the community response has been overwhelming. we've been outside an evacuation centre over the last couple of hours and we saw cars lining up, queueing to deliver goods, piles of donations higher than me. there was everything from food, water, toys, bedding, there was even a pile of prams there. and this is coming from all corners of this is coming from all corners of this very diverse community. volu nteers this very diverse community. volunteers i have spoken to have said people affected are from all nationalities, west africa, central
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african, eastern europe, and many of those caught up in this have lived in these flats for a0 years. those caught up in this have lived in these flats for 40 years. sarah, thank you very much indeed for that. president trump is being investigated for possible obstruction ofjustice according to the washington post. if confirmed, the move by special counsel robert mueller would mark a turning point in the fbi investigation into russian interference in last year's presidential election. mr trump's lawyer has called the leak of information outrageous, inexcusable and illegal. live now to our north america correspondent david willis. david, the background here, we heard from president trump that he had sought and received repeated assurances from the fbi director he sacked, james comey, that he was not under investigation. the washington post is a much respected paper, this would be a big change? it would indeed. it now appears, mike, that
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the new york times, another revered newspaper in this country, is getting at least some credence to that report in the washington post —— giving. the new york times reporting that senior intelligence officials, people not part of the trump campaign, due to give evidence to the special counsel robert mueller in the next few days, possibly even this week. that is significant because the initial investigation, the investigation that the special counsel robert mueller inherited from the fbi, was into alleged links between the russian government and the trump campaign to allegedly perverted the outcome of last year's presidential election. well, now, less than a month after he was appointed special counsel, it would be appearing if the washington post report is correct that robert mueller has widened his brief already and is looking into the possibility of obstruction of justice
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looking into the possibility of obstruction ofjustice on the part of the president of the united states. —— president. what this would relate to is the attempt that james comey said donald trump made to get him, when he was fbi director, to drop the investigation into donald trump's former national security adviser michael klim. general flynn, you may remember, resigned in february, effectively forced out after it was revealed he had been economical with the truth as far as his links to the russians we re as far as his links to the russians were concerned. david, mr trump already said frankly it seems in a tv interview he fired james comey because he was unhappy about the way the russian probe was going and also this intriguing line in the post story, investigators looking for any evidence of financial crimes among trump associates? indeed. robert mueller clearly has a widening brief and this is, as i say, an investigation which only a few weeks ago was purely focused on russia and
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its alleged involvement in the outcome of the us election. now that whole issue has almost been buried if you like because mr mueller has other things to look into an donald trump is in this position largely of his own making. if he had not sacked james comey as head of the fbi a month ago we may not have this expansive enquiry, one which could actually in snare the president himself. more to come on this clearly. david, thank you very much. another major story from washington, dc, a gunman opened fire on members of congress as they were at baseball practice. five people were wounded, including the senior republican steve scalise. doctors say he's in critical condition and will require further operations. a short while ago, president trump visited the hospital where congressman scalise is being treated. laura bicker reports from virginia. gunshots it was a regular morning baseball practice, but a gunman tried to turn it into a killing field.
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the horror was captured on camera by a dog—walker. the shots ring out for several minutes with few pauses. is that guy ok? one of the victims was a congressman steve scalise. his colleagues could not get to him as the firing continued. i could see steve scalise out on the field. he was shot from near second base. he was a little bit further away from the gunman. he was lying motionless out thee. i wanted to get to him but there were still shots overhead from all sides. finally when we heard the shooter was down, ijust ran low out to steve and started putting pressure on the wound. the gunman was 66—year—old,
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james hodgkinson from illinois. he was anti—trump. he was shot by capitol hill police. survivors say it would have been a massacre without their help. they are trying to come to terms with having to dodge bullets on what should have been a day for batting practice. the emotional shock of seeing your friend shot while you are helpless. you have a baseball bat. they have a rifle. you are defenceless. the shooting has shaken washington. both sides of the political aisle seem in shock. when you go to baseball practice for a game for charity and you have to dodge bullets and you watch colleagues laying down in the field, yeah, it is heartbreaking. this has to stop. hate has to stop. we are united in our shock, we are united in our anguish. an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. applause
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president donald trump praised all of those serving congress. we may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who serves in our nation's capital is here because, above all, they love our country. it is not yet known whether or not this was an assassination attempt. there are reports the gunman asked whether or not this was a democrat or republican practice. the annual game between the two sides is due to be held tomorrow, it has been held since 1909 and is a genuine moment of political bipartisanship. it is now marred by violence. laura bicker, bbc news, virginia. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: we'll have more on how the west london community is helping families who were made homeless after a huge fire engulfed a tower block.
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the day the british liberated the falklands and by tonight british troops had begun the task of disarming the enemy. in the heart of the west german capital, this was gorbymania at its height. the crowd packed to see the man who, for them, had raised great hopes for the end of the division of europe. michaeljackson was not guilty on all charges. the screams of the crowd testament to his popularity and their faith in his innocence. as long as they'll pay to go see me, i'll get out there and kick 'em down the hill. what does it feel like to be the first man to go across the channel by your own power? it's pretty neat. feels marvellous, really. this is bbc news.
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the latest headlines: at least 12 people are now known to have died in a huge fire which engulfed a residential tower block in west london. the number of dead is expected to rise as fire crews carry out a complex recovery operation. the washngton post claims president trump is being investigated for possible obstruction of justice by special counsel robert mueller. 78 people have been treated at six london hospitals — 18 of those are still in critical care — most suffering the effects of inhaling smoke. our medical correspondent fergus walsh has been looking at the response of the hundred medical staff who were called to the scene. for the third time in as many months, london's medical teams responded to a major emergency. paramedics, trauma specialists and the airambulance were all involved, some of whom treated patients in the recent terror attacks.
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the key — to stabilise patients and get them to hospital. at st mary's we're caring for 16 patients, three of whom are in a critical condition. at charing cross hospital we have four patients, none of whom are critical. we are continuing to care for patients who are primarily suffering from the affects of smoke inhalation. inhaling smoke can damage the lungs and airways and may also cause carbon monoxide poisoning. specialist burn teams were on standby, but it's understood they did not treat any casualties. 12 hours after it broke out, a toxic cloud was still billowing from grenfell tower, leading to concerned residents handing out face masks donated by local firms. people are breathing in the smoke here and there's lots of soot and there's also, you know, toxic substances that have been used
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in the building that we're aware of. and everywhere you look, in the surrounding area, are these blackened, sooty fragments. this child ren‘s playground is littered with pieces of debris which have floated the down from the building and are what appear to be pieces of insulation from the outside of the tower block, and you can taste the soot at the back of your throat. everyone's main concern is for the residents of g re nfell tower, but there are worries too for those living nearby. we find it hard to breathe and we felt like we were tasting that smoke. so we don't know the damage it will have on our lungs. we have lots of residents who are vulnerable, elderly people, people with severe disabilities, so we're concerned for them. little children as well, children under the age of five. the hospitals involved say their accident & emergency departments remain very busy.
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they've asked the public to use walk—in centres or their gp unless it's an emergency, allowing them to focus on those injured in this appalling tragedy. 24 hours after the fire started there are relatives and friends still urgently seeking people in some cases entire families who are still unaccounted for. and they're using all means especially social media to try to raise awareness and make contact. our correspondentjune kelly has been talking to some of them about those who are still missing. jessica urbano is 12. she was with her family on the 20th floor g re nfell tower but in the mayhem she became separated from them. on a borrowed phone she told her mum she was on the stairs with other people. herfamily have heard nothing since. her aunt has posted this picture on twitter with the appeal, "if you see jessie, please get in touch." tony disson, a retired lorry driver
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lived alone on the 22nd floor. at 3:30am he phoned one of his three sons and said he was being told to stay in his flat. on facebook, one of his boys pleaded... "if anyone has seen my dad, could they let us know?" one family from the 17th floor has five missing. this lady here, with her grandmother and her grandfather. and with other family members. they were last heard of at 3.00am. 82—year—old ali yawarjafari has a heart condition. he made it down one floor in a lift, but was then told to get out and became separated from his daughter. she and her mother and sister managed to escape, but there's been no word of him. from the 14th floor, dennis murphy called his family at 1:30am saying he was struggling to breathe with the smoke. half an hour later, he rang again saying he was in a neighbour's flat. that was the last contact from him.
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mariem elgwahry, who is 27, is a marketing manager and lived on the 19th floor with her mother. her friends posted this picture with the message... "please let's find her and her mum." mo tuccu didn't live in grenfell tower, but with his wife and three—year—old daughter, he was visiting someone. as muslims, the family had gone there to break their ramadan fast. his employer said simply... "mo is part of the family." some of the so many who are missing. the people who love them have been plunged into the most terrible torment as desperate for news, they have been forced to wait for any information. within a few hours of the fire starting people were arriving at the shelters that have been set up here in churches, sports and community centres. they were carrying food, clothes, water handing out masks to people in the street to protect them from the acrid smoke. our correspondent elaine dunkley tells us more about the way the local community came together to help.
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this church hall, a refuge for those who have nothing and for those who want to give. they've been overwhelmed with donations. today we've been out, we've bought a load of phone chargers and we've given people the phone chargers to help them call loved ones and to make sure they're all safe and everyone knows where everybody is. we've also donated some money, we've given some money to some families. he withdrew £1000 out of his account and we've been giving families £100 just to see them over the next couple of days. i mean, it's amazing how everyone has come out in the community, and it just shows you how people will stick together in a time like this. and how caring people are, they've been so caring. this hall is full of provisions, from shoes to toiletries. people are sharing their homes, others are offering their time. i see that london is still together and regardless of your background — i'm from brazil — and where you come from, everybody got together.
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it is an amazing feeling that i have. in 15 minutes, this hallway, as you see, it is absolutely full of clothes, baby stuff, food, water. it is amazing. on another corner, just moments away from where people have lost their lives and others all their possessions, there are more supplies. we've had bedding, headscarves, toiletries, everything you can think of that people might want. this at the front here is food. i have kids at the local primary and secondary, texts are coming in, new centres that are open, where else people can take donations. you know, i happen to be nearby, so... i've got a seven—year—old and i was taking her to school this morning, and on that road where we walked to school, there was a very, very clear view of the tower and what was going on. the fire was sort of really going at that point early in the morning and she understands
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what's going on and so after school we came by here and she wanted to help load donations from this box into the van that's taking them on to the shelters where people are being looked after. this is an area where there is wealth, and those who have very little. people from all backgrounds trying to do their best. this community is very strong. obviously it's not about who's rich and who's poor, as you can see. you will see people with suits and people with tracksuits, you know, just helping around and doing what they can do the best. there's also people here from different castes and different colours. a lot of youth is involved as well, from what i can see. you can see a lot of students running around here, picking up stuff. yeah, we from the sikh community are trying our best, making sure there's water everywhere. tonight, many of the centres are providing food and beds. but this is just the beginning for families who are now homeless. the prime minister, theresa may,
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has promised a full investigation into the causes of the fire. the blaze is still partially alight in the 24—storey grenfell tower. 12 people confirmed dead and authorities have warned that the figure is likely to rise. residents have raised concerns about fire safety in the tower which was given insulated cladding during a recent ten million pound refurbishment. there is plenty more on our website, including a special live page, where you'll find the latest news updates and information from the emergency services, as well as tweets and social media posts from on the ground. thanks for watching. hello. the next 24 hours will bring us some cooler and fresher weather but will not last long — the warmth will return
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for the weekend. we certainly pulled some warmth up from the south during wednesday. 27 degrees was our top temperature at heathrow. thursday, however, will be a different feeling day. the cold front pushing in from the west and behind that some fresh air will be introduced. ahead of the front a warm and muggy start to thursday morning, particularly in our big town and city centres. 16,17,18 degrees. with sunshine, temperatures in eastern england will rise quickly through the morning. here is our weather front, our cold front. at this stage showery rain and as that pushes through it will introduce that fresh airfrom the west. by 4pm, south—west england will still enjoy sunshine but the temperature will have dropped off. still some warmth clinging on across the south—east and east anglia. 22, 23 degrees here and mainly fine afternoon across the midlands. we start to encounter showers as we push across england, quite a lot fresher there. across scotland there will be cloudy periods, i suspect, with showery rain. equally bright spells
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in between and breezy towards the north—west. similar stories in northern ireland with bright spells but large areas of cloud and showery rain. we return to wales where it is fine through the afternoon but the temperature only reaching as high as 17 or 18 degrees. with fresher feel in place, thursday night should be a little more comfortable for sleeping, i suspect. 11 there in aberdeen. out in the countryside will be even a little cooler than that. fresh start to friday but a bright start with sunshine. however there will be changes through the day. more cloud into northern ireland, scotland, parts of northern england and north wales, patchy rain moving through as well. also you will start to notice those temperatures creeping upwards again and that is what will take this into the weekend. this warm front bringing some patchy rain across northern areas but also introducing some warm air from the south. you will notice an area
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of high pressure building in from the south as well. across england and wales, saturday will not only be warm and sunny. 28 in london. showery rain for northern ireland and western scotland. breezy here as well. on sunday the rain is confined to the far north—west. further south and east, a lot of sunshine, humid air in place and the temperature could reach as high as 30 or 31 degrees. this is bbc news, the headlines: 12 people are now confirmed dead in the huge fire that engulfed a tower block of flats in west london. police expect that number to rise significantly. fire crews have not yet been able to search all 24 storeys. 78 people have been treated in hospital, 18 are in critical condition. grenfell tower housed around 500 people, some had repeatedly raised concerns about fire safety. they say their warnings over a recent refurbishment and possible safety risks were ignored. checks are to be carried out across britain on similar tower blocks. president trump is being
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investigated for possible obstruction ofjustice according to the washington post. the move by special counsel robert mueller, if confirmed, would mark a turning point in the investigation into russian interference in last year's presidential election. now on bbc news, click. this week, preparing for the worst in vr.
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