London tower block fire: At least 12 dead, number expected to rise - live updates...

LONDON CNN London's Metropolitan Police say at least 12 people have died in a huge blaze that engulfed a residential high-rise in west London on Wednesday morning. Authorities added that the number is expected to rise and the recovery operation will be "lengthy" and "complicated."

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Death toll rises to 12

Commander Stuart Cundy has updated the death toll from the London tower block fire to 12 people. He stated again that the number is expected to increase.
Witness: I hope friend is still alive inside
Local resident Ness Davis told CNN she had been able to contact her friend Rose — who is still inside the building but she has stopped answering the phone.

“Hopefully she’s still alive inside but who would survive that -- the whole building is on fire,” she says with tears in her eyes.

She explains the frustration of many residents who watched the blaze worsen at 3 a.m. this morning and few firefighters on scene and wondering why more help wasn't on the way.

More help would in fact arrive and emergency services have said that fire trucks were on the scene within six minutes of the first call. Authorities have since announced that 200 firefighters, 40 trucks and 20 ambulance crews were sent to tackle the blaze which broke out around 1 a.m. local time.

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