KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian living in London is reportedly waiting anxiously for news of his cousin, who is a resident of the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block in Kensington which was a roaring inferno early today.
“He has been trying without success to find out from the hospitals and police whether she is safe. He and her family are very worried, especially with reports of people trapped in the building and some jumping from the top floors,” said engineer Daniel Han.
The 28-year-old Penangite, who works with a pharmaceutical firm and has been living in London for the past four years, declined to name the friend.
“We are from the same hometown and his cousin is of mixed parentage. Her father is Chinese and her mother is English,” he said.
Han added that Malaysians in the surrounding areas felt for the victims and their families.
“We are ready to help if called upon to do so, but I don’t think there is much that we can do. All that needs to be done is being done by the authorities – the police, firemen and health personnel.”
More than 250 firefighters, 100 policemen and 100 medics were reportedly at the scene of the blaze, which was believed to have started at about 12.45am local time.
Police confirmed that there were “a number of fatalities” while the London Ambulance Service said 50 people had been taken to five hospitals as of 8am.
Meanwhile, a 29-year-old Malaysian who lives about 3km from the scene said he was woken by the sound of fire engines and police sirens, and thought there had been another terrorist attack following the recent incidents at the London Bridge and in Manchester.
“I shut my bedroom windows,” said Adam Efendi Nordin, an operations consultant with accounting firm Ernst and Young.
“It was a sleepless night for me. I was kept awake by the sirens and the sound of helicopters hovering above.
“At about 5.30am I stepped outside. I could see smoke coming from the building and could hear the helicopters, the police cars and the ambulances. The sad drama wasn’t over.”