Several dead in west London residential tower inferno

London (CNN)A massive fire that tore through a 24-story apartment building in west London has claimed a number of lives, fire officials confirmed, as rescuers frantically worked to reach people believed still trapped.

    Smoke rises from the fire at the Grenfell Tower apartment block in North Kensington, London, on Wednesday, June 14. According to the London Fire Brigade, 40 fire engines and 200 firefighters are working to put out the blaze. Residents in the tower were said to be evacuating and a number of people were treated for a quot;range of injuries,quot; Metropolitan Police said.Smoke rises from the fire at the Grenfell Tower apartment block in North Kensington, London, on Wednesday, June 14. According to the London Fire Brigade, 40 fire engines and 200 firefighters are working to put out the blaze. Residents in the tower were said to be evacuating and a number of people were treated for a quot;range of injuries,quot; Metropolitan Police said.A woman runs near paramedics working near the fire at the Grenfell Tower. At least 30 people were taken to five London hospitals but it was not clear how many were still trapped. London fire commissioner Dany Cotton said there had been a number of deaths, and the incident was unprecedented in her 29-year career.A woman runs near paramedics working near the fire at the Grenfell Tower. At least 30 people were taken to five London hospitals but it was not clear how many were still trapped. London fire commissioner Dany Cotton said there had been a number of deaths, and the incident was unprecedented in her 29-year career.Witnesses reported terrifying accounts of people trapped in the tower in Lancaster West Estate in North Kensington. Some people were reported to have jumped from the tower.Witnesses reported terrifying accounts of people trapped in the tower in Lancaster West Estate in North Kensington. Some people were reported to have jumped from the tower.Firefighters work to bring the blaze under control.Firefighters work to bring the blaze under control.Firefighters are battling the massive fire.Firefighters are battling the massive fire.Emergency personnel prepare in an open area near the fire. Emergency personnel prepare in an open area near the fire. Local council leader Nick Paget-Brown said the authorities are still trying to quot;establish how many people have been injured or, sadly, lost their lives.quot;Local council leader Nick Paget-Brown said the authorities are still trying to quot;establish how many people have been injured or, sadly, lost their lives.quot;quot;Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus are working extremely hard in very difficult conditions to tackle this fire. This is a large and very serious incident and we have deployed numerous resources and specialist appliances,quot; Assistant Commissioner Dan Daly said.quot;Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus are working extremely hard in very difficult conditions to tackle this fire. This is a large and very serious incident and we have deployed numerous resources and specialist appliances,quot; Assistant Commissioner Dan Daly said.Smoke could be seen billowing over the heads of residents who gathered in nearby streets in West London to watch the blaze, which broke out in the early hours of the morning.Smoke could be seen billowing over the heads of residents who gathered in nearby streets in West London to watch the blaze, which broke out in the early hours of the morning.Police officers on nearby Bradley Road asked people to step back so they could expand the cordon and make more space for emergency services.Police officers on nearby Bradley Road asked people to step back so they could expand the cordon and make more space for emergency services.Residents of Whitchurch Road watch smoke streaming from the tower.Residents of Whitchurch Road watch smoke streaming from the tower.Emergency services respond to the fire.Emergency services respond to the fire.Residents evacuated from nearby Barandon Walk wait outside their building. They were evacuated around 2 a.m. Police told them heat emanating from the fire could affect the structure of their building.Residents evacuated from nearby Barandon Walk wait outside their building. They were evacuated around 2 a.m. Police told them heat emanating from the fire could affect the structure of their building.Witness Michael Kyriakou told CNN the fire spread quickly, with one side of the building ablaze around 15 minutes after it started. quot;Within an hour it had engulfed the top part of the building,quot; he said. quot;There are people in bathrobes and slippers all around us, so hopefully as many as possible got out.quot;Witness Michael Kyriakou told CNN the fire spread quickly, with one side of the building ablaze around 15 minutes after it started. quot;Within an hour it had engulfed the top part of the building,quot; he said. quot;There are people in bathrobes and slippers all around us, so hopefully as many as possible got out.quot;The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has activated a quot;major emergency planquot; in response to the blaze. 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    Twitter user @Natalie_Oxford uploaded this image of the fire Twitter user @Natalie_Oxford uploaded this image of the fire Residents of Whitchurch road watch smoke billowing from the tower.Residents of Whitchurch road watch smoke billowing from the tower.Smoke and flames rise from the Grenfell Tower building on fire in London.Smoke and flames rise from the Grenfell Tower building on fire in London.The fire continued to rage after daybreak.The fire continued to rage after daybreak.People watch as Grenfell Tower is engulfed by fire on June 14 in west London.People watch as Grenfell Tower is engulfed by fire on June 14 in west London.

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