LONDON (Reuters) - One woman lost two of her six children when trying to escape a burning London apartment block early on Wednesday morning while others tried to throw their children to safety, witnesses said.
Six people have died and police expect the death toll to rise further after a blaze swept through the 24-storey apartment block in central London.
Bystanders and residents reported scenes of panic.
“Everyone was in shock, everyone was fleeing, screaming,” Michael Paramasivan, a resident of the block, told BBC radio.
“I spoke to a lady that lives on the 21st floor. She has got six kids. She left with all six of them. When she got downstairs there was only four of them with her. She is now breaking her heart,” he added.
A bystander, Samira Lamrani, said she saw a baby thrown from a ninth or 10th floor window.
“People were starting to appear at the windows, frantically banging and screaming,” she told London’s Evening Standard newspaper.
“The windows were slightly ajar, a woman was gesturing that she was about to throw her baby and if somebody could catch her baby. Somebody did, a gentleman ran forward and managed to grab the baby,” Lamrani continued.
Another witness, Tamara, told the BBC she also saw people trying to throw their children to safety.
“There’s people, like, throwing their kids out: ‘Just save my children, just save my children!’,” she said.
“There’s people at their windows: ‘Help me, help me, help me!’ You can see the fire go into the house and into the last room that they’re in, and just engulfing their whole apartment.”
Reuters was unable to verify the witness accounts.
Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and David Milliken; editing by Guy Faulconbridge