At least six people were killed as a fire ripped through a high-rise apartment building in west London where residents had long warned of the potential risk of a catastrophic blaze.
Police commander Stuart Cundy says he can ‘‘confirm six fatalities at this time but this figure is likely to rise during what will be a complex recovery operation over a number of days.’’
A thick plume of smoke could be seen for miles around, while witnesses reported people jumping from open windows near the top of the 24-story building after being trapped by the advancing flames.
Hundreds of other residents, many who had been asleep when the blaze broke out shortly before 1 a.m., were forced to flee down dark and smoky stairwells. The building, which is located in a poverty-stricken pocket of one of London’s wealthiest neighborhoods, was engulfed within minutes, said locals.