Just this week, we heard of a raging inferno that engulfed the 24-storey-tall Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, London. The images and stories related to the fire that are flooding in are mostly chilling, and reminiscent of the New York 9/11 tragedy.
The fire, according to the BBC, broke out shortly after midnight on Tuesday. Hundreds of people were in the tower at the time the fire started, with most of them asleep.
So far, 12 people have been confirmed dead in the tragedy, with 64 people injured and 18 in critical care, according to latest reports. However, many are still unaccounted for and search and rescue operations continue.
Eyewitness have described the chaos that occurred as a result of the fire, with those trapped in the building screaming for help and even throwing their children out of windows in utter desperation.
Among the many, many stories that are crowding our news-feeds, this one caught our eye.
Baby thrown from 10th floor as London Tower Fire Rages On
Samira Lamrani was a witness to the fire that fateful night in London. She is quoted by The Telegraph as saying she saw a woman on the ninth or tenth floor of the blazing building throwing her baby out of the window to members of the public below.
The incredibly lucky baby was caught by a quick-thinking man and saved. It is not known if the mother escaped.
“People were starting to appear at the windows, frantically banging and screaming,” said Lamrani. She explained that the windows in the apartment the mother was in were slightly open, and she was signalling to people below that she was about to throw her baby out and for someone to catch the child.
“Somebody did, a gentleman ran forward and managed to grab the baby,” she said.
“I could see people from all angles, banging and screaming for help. Members of the public were reassuring them. We told them them we’ve done what we can and that we’ve phoned 999, but obviously the look on their face was death,” Lamrani further explained, according to the news report.
More children thrown
Another resident, called Zara, has described seeing a woman throw her son – who looked to be about five years old – from the fifth or sixth floow window, in order to save him from the fire. said she saw a woman throw her son, who was about five years old, from a fifth or sixth floor window to escape the blaze.
“One woman actually threw her son out of the window. I think he’s OK”, she said. “I think he might have just had some broken bones and bruises.”
Not so lucky
While these two little ones certainly seemed to have guardian angels watching over them, others were not so lucky. Other news reports mention another mum, who lived on the 21st floor of the tower, racing down as fast as she could with all six of her children.
But by the time she got to the bottom, only four of her little ones were with her. An eyewitness is quoted as saying, “she can’t find two of her children anywhere. She’s in a community centre absolutely breaking her heart.’
What caused the blaze?
According to The Guardian, experts suspect the cladding used in the building might have contributed to the fire. The tower, which was built in 1974, recently underwent a major refurbishment. Investigations are continuing into the cause.
We at theAsianparent offer our heartfelt condolences to all those affected by the blaze. If you have loved ones or friends in London who you are concerned for, here’s a helpline that you can contact: (+44) 0800 0961 233
Do keep an eye out for our article on fire safety for Singaporean families.