A baby was dropped from the tenth floor of a blazing tower block and was caught by a man who ran forward from crowds underneath to grab it into his arms.
The miracle rescue occurred as Grenfell Tower was engulfed by flames in a fire thought to have been caused by a fridge exploding which has claimed the lives of at least six people.
Samira Lamrani said she saw a woman try to save a baby by dropping it from a window ‘on the ninth or 10th floor’ to waiting members of the public below.
She said: ‘People were starting to appear at the windows, frantically banging and screaming.
‘The windows were slightly ajar, a woman was gesturing that she was about to throw her baby and if somebody could catch her baby.
‘Somebody did, a gentleman ran forward and managed to grab the baby.’
She added: ‘I could see people from all angles, banging and screaming for help.
‘Us members of the public were reassuring them, telling them we’ve done what we can and that we’ve phoned 999, but obviously the look on their face was death.
‘My daughter’s friend said she observed an adult who made some sort of homemade parachute and tried to lower himself out of the window.
‘The more I looked up, floor upon floor. Endless numbers of people.
‘Mainly the kids, because obviously their voices, with their high pitched voices — that will remain with me for a long time.
‘I could hear them screaming for their lives.’
Another resident, called Zara, said she saw a woman throw her son, who was about five years old, from a fifth or sixth floor window to escape the blaze.
She told LBC: ‘One woman actually threw her son out of the window. I think he’s OK.
‘I think he might have just had some broken bones and bruises.
‘I left my phone at home so I went back to grab it and, by the time I got back, the road was completely blocked off, the fire had dramatically spread.
‘It was like a scene from a Hollywood movie.’
Asked about which floor the boy was thrown from, she said she thought it was the fifth or even the sixth.
‘There was another woman screaming ‘my baby, my baby, I need to get out, I need to save my baby’.
‘But we were just looking up.
‘We couldn’t do anything.
‘There was nothing we could do.’
Another caller, Linda, told the station how she watched huge chunks of polystyrene type material falling from the building.
‘It was everywhere, it was like snow,’ she said.
‘There were larger sheets and small pieces.
‘It was coming down everywhere.’
The trapped, some of whom are still inside, were heard begging for their lives while waving white towels, torches and mobile phones to attract the attention of the 200 firefighters who started storming the building within six minutes of the 999 call.
One White City resident called Tamara told the BBC: ‘There were people just throwing their kids out saying “Save my children». Within another 15 minutes the whole thing was up in flames and there were still people at their windows shouting «Help me». You could see the fire going into their houses and engulfing the last room that they were in.’
Those who managed to flee said it was ‘like hell on earth’ inside and compared the disaster to the 9/11 attack — and also revealed there was no working fire alarm, sprinklers failed and the only staircase out was blocked.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has also demanded to know why Grenfell residents were told to ‘stay put’ in their flats for up to an hour in the event of a fire.
Dany Cotton, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, said there had been ‘a number of fatalities’ and structural engineers are checking the stability of the building, which appears to have warped.
London Ambulance Service said 50 people are in hospital and paramedics are treating many more walking wounded for smoke inhalation and minor burns.
Grenfell’s own community action group called for the tower to be pulled down four years ago over ‘appalling’ fire safety in the building and said today their repeated warnings to landlord Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) fell on ‘deaf ears’.
KCTMO completed a £10million refurbishment last year and the new cladding encasing the block originally built in 1974 ‘went up like a match’, one resident has said.