According to the BBC, a baby’s life was saved after a desperate mother threw her child from the 9th or 10th floor of London’s 24-story Grenfell Tower. Samira Lamrani saw the woman trying to get the crowds attention before throwing the child from the burning building. Lamrani says a man ran forward and caught the child.
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“The windows were slightly ajar – a woman was gesturing that she was about to throw her baby and if somebody could catch her baby,” Lamrani said to the Press Association. “Somebody did, a gentleman ran forward and managed to grab the baby.”
Jody Martin saw the same woman after watching another resident jump. “I watched one person falling out. I watched another woman holding her baby out the window,” she told the BBC. “I was yelling at everyone to get down and they were saying: ‘We can’t leave our apartments, the smoke is too bad.'”
The infant was not the only child thrown to safety. A resident known only as Zara escaped the blaze and watched another woman throw her 5-year-old son from the 5th or 6th floor. “One woman actually threw her son out of the window,” she told the talk radio Leading Britain’s Conversation. “I think he’s OK. I think he might have just had some broken bones and bruises.”
Lamrani described a scene of chaos. She saw people everywhere “from all angles, banging and screaming for help.” As the fire raged on for over 4 hours more and more people began jumping from windows. At least one man attempted to use a “homemade parachute” to slow his descent. Other witnesses reported seeing residents making ropes from bed sheets in an attempt to escape the blazing tower.
As of now the police have reported 12 fatalities and expect that number to rise in the hours to come. At least 74 people are being treated for injuries ranging from smoke inhalation to broken bones and internal bleeding, at least 18 people are in critical condition.
— Telegraph News (@TelegraphNews) June 14, 2017
More than 600 people are believed to have been inside the building when it caught fire. The fire is believed to have started on the 4th floor and many residents reported that the fire alarms failed to make a sound. Others reported the alarms were so quiet no one could hear them. At first, residents were told to “stay put” and to put a towel under the door until fire brigade rescue workers could lead them to safety.
Police say it will be some time before they can confirm the identity of the victims. The cause of the fire is still unknown. A group of residents claim that they have been aware of safety concerns for over 3 years but their warnings fell on “deaf ears.”