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—storey building within 30 minutes with people desperately trying to escape. people were screaming, people were jumping out on fire, chucking down ropes they'd 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. they still haven't been able to search the whole building. 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. 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. 78 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
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 he 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, help me." the fire tore through the 2a—storey council block in this deprived part of north kensington. on the seventh floor, this family were led to safety when a fire officer made it up to their flat. there was smoke everywhere,
people screaming. the neighbours were coming out. 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. with dawn came grim if expected news that lives have been lost. 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. his name is faruk. that is why i asked his mrs. a 12—year—old boy? as well as the smoke and the smell of burning, numb shock and tension 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?! 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? yeah, a 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. that we don't know if they would even 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 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. but the neighbourhood is also scarred by grief that will not pass for a long, long time. mark easton, bbc news, north kensington. live now to the scene. our reporter sarah corker is there. we will go over to her in just a
minute. the other major story of the oui’i 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. our north america correspondent david willis told me the washington post wasn't alone in saying president trump was facing investigation. it now appears, mike, that the new york times, another revered newspaper in this country, is giving at least some credence to that report in the washington post. the new york times reporting that senior intelligence officials, people who were 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. now, that's 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 pervert the outcome of last year's presidential election. well, now, less than a month after he was appointed special counsel, it would appear 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 on the part of the president of the united states. 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 flynn. 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 were concerned.
david, mrtrump david, mr trump already said frankly it seems in a tv interview that 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? yes, 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 its alleged involvement in the outcome of the us election. well, now that whole issue has almost been buried if you like because mr mueller has other things to look into and donald trump is in this position largely of his own making. had he not sacked james comey as head of the fbi a month ago we might not have this expansive enquiry, one which could actually
in snare the president himself. let's go back to the fire that engulfed grenfell tower 27 hours ago, our reporter sarah corker is at the scene. we still don't know how many people are missing, we know hundreds of people are suddenly homeless and it's really something the way so many people around london have come together to help? yes. well, to give you a sense of geography, where exactly i am, i'm about 800 metres from that smouldering tower block. this is a car park near one of the evacuation centres and this is the pile of donations that have appeared through the night. people from across the area, the night. people from across the area , across the night. people from across the area, across the country even, coming to do whatever they can to help. we got some cereal here, some biscuits, people have donated a lot
of water. over this side there's clothing, bedding, some don't like a children's toy you might be able to see there, some furniture and a mattress here. if i take you over to this side, this is the latest donation, a van load of bedding that's just arrived in the last half an hourorso and that's just arrived in the last half an hour or so and we've got a team of volu nteers an hour or so and we've got a team of volunteers trying to help to sort all of this. many people here don't know any of those affected but just wa nted know any of those affected but just wanted to do something to help. and after the horror of the fire, hundreds of people are homeless, some still unaccounted for and families face that anxious wait for news of loved ones and many of them just have the clothes they were wearing last night when they escaped that tower block and this is very much an unofficial response, but this will go to help those most in need who have lost everything and the community, a very diverse community, coming together. the volu nteers community, coming together. the volunteers i've spoken to say a
people from a range of nationalities have been affected by this, people from west africa, central african, eastern europe, a whole end of people coming together in their hour of need. the investigation beginning to kick off into how the fire started and why it spread so quickly. people talking about the whole building apparently being a light in 30 to a0 minutes, beginning to zero in on the cladding that was put on in the refurbishment that finished in may last year? we've seen finished in may last year? we've seen throughout the night firefighters have still been on the scene. in the last half an hour or so we scene. in the last half an hour or so we did see a crane going up, some firefighters on top, and they were shining lights into a number of flaws on that building, presumably trying to find out if parts were still ablaze. —— floors. this is still ablaze. —— floors. this is still very much an ongoing investigation for them and yesterday
they sent up some drones to check they sent up some drones to check the integrity of the building, obviously there's some parts of the tower block that are very difficult tower block that are very difficult to get to. and those images they would have taken will help them plan exactly what to do next and, of course for the police and the investigators, they face many questions, first what caused this fire, that is still unknown. these tower blocks are designed for when there is a fire in an individual flat or block, it is supposed to be confined there because of these fireproof wall is. that obviously didn't happen, they'll be asking why. another question as you mentioned there, why did it spread so mentioned there, why did it spread so quickly? eyewitnesses said it engulfed the entire building in 30 minutes or so. another question, why wasn't there a sprinkler system? this building was built in the 70s and lastly a point united to there, there was a renovation that finished
last year, did that in some way affect the safety of the building? eyewitnesses have said the new cladding put up in the building meant the fire spread externally very quickly. these will all be things that the police and the fire service will be looking at. we're at the very early stages of this long investigation. sarah, thank you very much. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: we'll have more on that fire. there was a bomb in the city centre. a code word known to be one used by the ira was given. army bomb experts we re the ira was given. army bomb experts were examining a suspect van when there was a huge explosion. the south african parliament has destroyed the foundation of apartheid by abolishing the population registration act which
for a0 yea rs population registration act which for a0 years forcibly classified each citizen according to race. germany's parliament, the bundestag, has voted by a narrow majority to move the seat government from bonn to berlin. the decision was greeted with shock in bonn. just a day old and the royal baby is tonight sleeping in his cot at home. early this evening the new prince was taken this evening the new prince was ta ken by this evening the new prince was taken by his mother and father to new apartments in kensington palace. the real focus today of attention was the world's first woman cosmonauts. what do you think of the first russian woman in space?” think it's a wonderful achievement andl think it's a wonderful achievement and i might try to persuade the wife to go up there for a while. this is bbc news. 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. 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. president trump, who visited him in hospital a short while ago, tweeted that congressman scalise was in very tough shape but he's a realfighter. laura bicker reports from virginia. gunshots it was a regular morning baseball practice that a gunman tried to turn it into a killing field. the horror was captured on camera by a dog—walker. the shots ring out for several minutes with few pauses. is that guy ok up there? one of the victims was
congressman steve scalise. his colleagues couldn't get to him as the firing continued. i could see steve scalise out in the field. he dragged himself after he was shot from near second base about ten or 15 yards into the field just to be a little bit further away from the gunman. he was lying motionless out there. i wanted to get to him but there were still shots going overhead from both 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 james hodgkinson from illinois. his social media posts were anti—republican and anti—trump. he died in hospital after being shot by capitol hill police. survivors say this would have been a massacre without their help. they're 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 friends shot where you're helpless,
you have a baseball bat, they have a rifle. you're 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 your colleagues lay in the field, yeah, it's my breaking point. 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 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's not yet known whether or not
this was an assassination attempt. there are reports that the gunman asked whether or not this was a democrat or republican practice. the annual game between the two sidess was due to be held tomorrow, it's been held since 1909 and is a genuine moment of political bipartisa nship. it's now marred by violence. laura bicker, bbc news, virginia. let's round up some of the main news. the head of the federal reserve has raised american interest rates by a quarter of 1% so the benchmark rate will be between one and one and a quarter %. police in california say that three have been killed at a shooting at a ups parcel depot in san francisco. the gunman was dressed in company uniform and also died. police say he shot
himself when they approached. the jury himself when they approached. the jury in the cry trial of bill cosby have been asked for a repeat of the testimony for the second time since they deliberated three days ago. bill cosby denies assaulting a woman at his home in 200a. 2a 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 of 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, 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 1ath 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. 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. june kelly, bbc news. 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. 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. darren 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. 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 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. just an update on the whole story: the prime minister, theresa may, has promised a full investigation into the causes of the fire. the blaze is still partially alight in the 2a—storey grenfell tower. 12 people are confirmed dead and authorities have warned that the figure is likely to rise. fire crews haven't searched at 2a storeys. residents have raised concerns about fire safety in the tower — it was given insulated cladding during a recent ten million pound refurbishment in may last year. there is plenty more on our website, including a special live page, and all the news, where you'll find the latest news updates and information from the emergency services. thanks for watching. hello.
the next 2a hours will bring us some cooler, fresher weather but it won't last long. the warmth will return for the weekend. and we certainly pulled some warmth up from the south during wednesday. 27 degrees was our top temperature at heathrow. thursday, though, is going to be a different feeling day. this cold front pushing in from the west. behind that some fresh air will be introduced. ahead of that it is quite a warm and muggy start to thursday morning, particularly in our big town and city centres. 16,17,18 degrees. and with some sunshine, temperatures in eastern england will rise very quickly through the morning. but here's our weather front, our cold front. a band of cloud and at this stage showery rain, and as that pushes through it will introduce that fresher air from the west. so, by apm in the afternoon, south—west england will still enjoy sunshine but the temperature
will have dropped off a little bit. still some warmth clinging on across the south—east and east anglia. 22, 23 degrees here — a mainly fine afternoon across the midlands. we start to encounter showers as we push across northern england, here it will be quite a lot fresher. 16—17 degrees. across scotland there will be cloudy periods, i suspect, with showery rain. equally bright spells in between and breezy towards the north—west. similar story for northern ireland, some bright spells but large areas of cloud and showery rain. but then we come back to wales where it is fine through the afternoon but the temperatures only getting as high as 17 or 18 degrees. and with that fresher air in place, thursday night should be a little more comfortable for sleeping, i suspect. 11 there in aberdeen, 13 in london. and out in the countryside will be even a little cooler than that. so, quite a 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, a little bit
of patchy rain moving through as well. and also you will start to notice those temperatures creeping upwards again, and that is what is going to take us into the weekend. this warm front bringing some patchy rain across northern areas but also introducing some warm air from the south. and you will notice an area of high pressure building in from the south as well. so, across england and wales, saturday will not only be warm but a sunny day. 28 degrees there in london. always cooler with showery rain for northern ireland and western scotland. a bit breezy here as well. on sunday the rain really confined to the far north—west. further south and east, quite a lot of sunshine, as high —— some humid air in place, temperatures could get 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 2a 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 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, hardtalk.