A massive fire engulfed a residential high-rise building in London on Wednesday, leaving at least 74 people injured and 12 dead.
The London Fire Brigade dispatched at least 40 fire engines, 20 ambulance crews and more than 200 firefighters in an effort to battle the conflagration, at the 24-story Grenfell Tower in West London.
Authorities said they are monitoring the stability of the charred structure, but that firefighters have managed to search “most” of the building for remaining people.
The Metropolitan Police Service confirmed the rising death toll at a press conference Wednesday night.
“This is an unprecedented incident,” London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton told reporters. “In my 29 years of being a firefighter, I have never, ever seen anything of this scale.”
As of 11:45 a.m. local time Wednesday, 64 people were transported to six hospitals across London for a range of injuries related to the fire, and 20 of them are in critical condition. An additional 10 people made their own way to hospitals, bringing the total of those treated to 74, according to London Ambulance Service director of operations Paul Woodrow.
“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 center,” Woodrow said in a statement late Wednesday morning. “Our hazardous area response teams are also on scene, who carry specialist equipment, including breathing apparatus. We’ve been treating patients for a range of injuries as well as for smoke inhalation.”
It is not known yet what caused the blaze, which firefighters continue to battle. The fire has left the building almost totally charred, and there…