Death toll rises to 12 in London tower blaze

The London Fire Brigade said 200 firefighters were battling the blaze

An investigation is underway to establish the cause of the fire, but the Metropolitan Police says it is still in the emergency response stage.

In this image made from video provided by Celeste Thomas @MAMAPIE, a building is on fire in London, Wednesday, June 14, 2017.

"We need to have an audit of all high-rise buildings which have cladding to ensure that it's fire-retardant, meets Australian standards or if it's not, it needs to be removed." independent senator Nick Xenophon told Sky News today.

A woman can be heard screaming for help in shocking footage she broadcast while trapped on one of Grenfell Tower's top floors.

More than 200 firefighters, backed up by 40 fire engines, fought for hours to try to bring the Grenfell Tower block blaze - one of the most treacherous seen in London for a generation - under control.

"There are questions about the stay put policy and people's understanding of the policy", he said.

"This is an unprecedented incident".

The fire was the latest tragedy in a country that has seen three deadly terrorist attacks, two in London and one in Manchester, since March.

Police commander Stuart Cundy gave the death toll of 12 but added the figure was likely to rise "during what will be a complex recovery operation over a number of days".

Firefighters rescued large numbers of people - some of them in their pyjamas - from the 43-year-old block, a low rent housing estate which overlooks up-scale parts of the Kensington area.

"I have seen people coming out in their bedclothes - it's just very distressing".

People from across the world glued to the television sets to watch the building burning.

One desperate woman threw a baby out of a high window and a man on the ground managed to catch the child, a witness said.

Prime Minister Theresa May's Downing Street office said she was "deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life" in the fire.

It neighbors the chic district of Notting Hill, famed for its Portobello Road market from where the flames of Grenfell Tower were still visible on Wednesday afternoon. Many were awake at the time the fire broke out having their early morning meal before beginning the daily fast for the holy month of Ramzan.

Local churches and mosques moved into action within a few hours of the fire, creating makeshift shelters and accepting donations of food, water, bedding and clothing.

"There was a bridge connecting that building [the Grenfell Tower] to another building on the second floor, so I went up the stairs [of the other building] and gained entry through an apartment with the axe".

"If we had stayed in that flat, we would've perished". "I think he might have just had some broken bones and bruises". "I've never seen nothing like it". He told reporters he did not believe further survivors would be found in the building. I was screaming at residents in the building, saying, "Get out, get out of the apartment".

Mr Fitzpatrick, who was a firefighter for 20 years, said: "We've been pressing for fire sprinkler systems in buildings where we think it's appropriate - certainly over a height level and in places where there is vulnerability, care homes and in schools - and Government has been resisting that for some time".

Another resident, Zoe, who lives on the fourth floor, said she was woken by a neighbour banging on her door.

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