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London inferno extinguished; firefighters search for victims

15 June 2017

Fire engulfed the social housing block, where as many as 600 people lived in more than 120 apartments, in the early hours of Wednesday, turning it into a flaming torch in minutes.

"Sadly I can confirm that there are now 12 people who have died, that we know of, this is going to be a long and complex recovery operation and I do anticipate that the number of fatalities will sadly increase beyond those 12", Police Commander Stuart Cundy told reporters.

'My agency will monitor the investigation into the London fire to determine whether there is any relationship with the combustible cladding matter and whether any further action should be taken on this matter in NSW and at the commonwealth level, ' Planning and Housing Minister Anthony Roberts said. The ambulance service said 68 people were being treated in hospital, with 18 in critical condition.

Missing people posters have been put up throughout North Kensington. "The phone was ringing but they didn't reply to us".

Newspaper reports cited the planning documents for that neighborhood regeneration as stating that the cladding was chosen, in part, as a low-priced way to improve Grenfell Tower's external appearance to new neighbors in the expensive homes being constructed nearby.

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He said that number was expected to rise and firefighters have said they did not expect to find any more survivors after rescuing 65.

Volunteers in the city of Glasgow - 550 kilometres (350 miles) away - sent a truck laden with nappies and other supplies.

It is unsafe for firefighters to go to all parts of the 24-story tower, so the fire department is working with structural engineers to shore up the building so they can complete a "finger-tip search" of the entire structure, Cotton said. "We could do nothing and we could see the stuff on the side was falling off, collapsing". Explosions were heard when the fire raged. However, once again the country has shown its incredible strength and kindness by coming together to help in any way we can. Other witnesses spoke of children including a baby being thrown to safety from high windows. "Then the rooms would go up in flames". "She is now breaking her heart", Michael Paramasivan, a block resident, told BBC radio.

"If we had stayed in that flat, we would have perished".

"I've spoken to the guy who had the fire in his fridge, knocked on his neighbour's door telling him to get out of his house and help him". When she got downstairs there was only four of them with her.

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It's likely to address issues such as how the fire spread so quickly, and why people were unable to escape.

"I anticipate London Fire Brigade will be on scene here for many days to come", she said. Fire experts say the investigators will need to look at what materials were used in the project and who approved their use.

Abdelaziz El-Wahabi, his wife Faouzia and their three children were among those who followed to protocol in their flat on the 21st floor.

"It was the worst thing I have ever seen, it was a horrendous, major incident of a large scale that involved so many people, and it was beyond belief".

Matt Wrack of the Fire Brigades Union said something had clearly gone badly wrong with fire prevention procedures at the building built in 1974.

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