Hospital staff treating 74 injured in fatal tower block fire in London
Staff at six hospitals across London treated 74 people who were either rescued or escaped after a fatal fire broke out overnight in a tower block in the capital's West Kensington district.
Twelve people were confirmed to have died in the blaze at Grenfell Tower on the Lancaster West Estate, but the Metropolitan Police said the figure is expected to rise.
Of the 34 people who remain in hospital, 18 individuals are in a critical condition.
Metropolitan Police commander Stuart Cundy said: ‘Our thoughts are with everyone involved in this truly shocking fire at Grenfell Tower.
‘This [fatalities] figure is likely to rise during what will be a complex recovery operation over a number of days. Many others are receiving medical care.’
NHS England, which oversees major incidents, said in a statement: ‘Our priority as the NHS is to continue to work closely with emergency services and all organisations involved. We have tried and tested measures in place to manage this, but we would also encourage Londoners to use NHS services wisely and seek advice from NHS 111 in the first instance.’
London Ambulance Service director of operations Paul Woodrow said they had treated and taken to hospital 64 patients, of whom 20 people were in critical care.
Ten people had made their own way to hospital, bringing the total number of people being treated to 74.
Mr Woodrow said: ‘Over 100 of our medics have been working hard to respond to this incident, including ambulance crews, advanced paramedics, advanced trauma teams from London's Air Ambulance and those staff managing the incident in our special operations centre.
‘Our hazardous area response teams, who carry specialist equipment including breathing apparatus, are also on scene.
He added: ‘A major incident has been declared and we continue to work closely with other members of the emergency services at the scene.’
Residents of the tower block are being urged to report to police to confirm they are safe at the Portobello Rugby Club, which is being used by the local authority as a reception centre for them.
Police say it is likely to take some time before they can confirm the identity of the victims, and it is too early to speculate on the cause of the fire.
Patients have been taken to the following hospitals: St Mary’s, King’s College, Chelsea and Westminster, the Royal Free, St Thomas’ and Charing Cross.
Metropolitan Police commander Cundy said: ‘If you do have any concerns for anybody connected to this awful event, please call the Casualty Bureau on 0800 0961 233. If you do not get through immediately, please try again. If you have any concerns, please use that number rather than dialling 999 or 101.’
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