The death toll of a massive fire that raged through the night at a 24-story block of flats in central London on Wednesday increased to 12, authorities said. They expect that number to continue to rise, saying earlier that at least 74 more people were injured and some residents were trapped inside the towering inferno.
London Fire Brigade reported over 200 firefighters tackled the flames through the night, with 40 fire engines also sent to the north Kensington tower block.
More than 74 people were injured and taken to hospital following the blaze at Grenfell Tower, where several hundred people lived. London police said they expected the death toll from the tower block fire to rise as emergency services continued to search the building.
One woman lost two of her six children when trying to escape in the early hours of Wednesday morning, while others tried to throw their children to safety, witnesses said.
"Our thoughts are with everyone involved in this truly shocking fire at Grenfell Tower," Stuart Cundy, commander of the Metropolitan police, said on Wednesday morning.
British media reported that residents had become trapped in the upper floors and were desperately screaming for help as the fire spread through the building. The tower block contains around 120 homes.
"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," Dany Cotton, commissioner of the London Fire Brigade said on Wednesday morning.
"This is an unprecedented incident. In my 29 years of being a firefighter, I have never ever seen anything of this scale," she added.
The fire was first reported shortly after 1.15 a.m. BST.
London ambulance service reported at around 11.45 a.m. BST that 64 patients had been taken to hospital following the incident at the Lancaster West Estate.
"Following this morning's fire at Grenfell Tower, West London, we have treated and taken 64 patients to six hospitals across London, where 20 people are currently in critical care. Our thoughts are with everyone affected," Paul Woodrow, director of operations at London Ambulance Service, said in a statement.
A further 10 people were said to have made their own way to the hospital, taking the total to 74.