[The Guardian}- An unknown number of people have been killed and dozens injured after a huge fire engulfed a tower block in west London in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Hundreds of firefighters battled to rescue residents from their flats after the fire broke out at Grenfell Tower on Latimer Road, near Notting Hill, shortly before 1am.
The blaze rapidly engulfed the full height of the 24-storey block, and was still burning strongly more than six hours later, with a thick pall of dark smoke visible across the capital.
Residents could be seen waving and screaming from their windows, as firefighters wearing breathing apparatus fought to rescue them from their flats.
Shortly before 8am, the London fire commissioner, Dany Cotton, confirmed there had been “a number of fatalities” as a result of the “unprecedented” fire.
“In my 29 years of being a firefighter I have never ever seen anything of this scale,” she said. “This is a major fire that has affected all floors of this 24 storey building, from the second floor upwards.”
The number of deaths could not yet be confirmed “due to the size and complexity of this fire,” Cotton said, adding that the cause of the blaze was also unknown at this stage.
Firefighters take a rest near the building
Smoke pours from Grenfell Tower across London
Debris from Grenfell Tower
Smoke rises above Grenfell Tower
Grenfell Tower still ablaze
Smoke continues to rise as dawn breaks
Smoke billows from the fire
Falling burning debris at the scene of the fire
Firefighters train a water jet onto the lower reaches of the burning building
The damaged building
Flames engulf the tower block at Latimer Road in west London
A shootout between rival biker gangs on a Sunday afternoon at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas, had killed 9 people and injured 18 others.
Sadly, shootings and violent incidents seems to becoming a norm in once a civilised country. The Guardian reported that sergeant Patrick Swanton, a spokesperson for Waco police department, said in a press conference on Monday after the incident that:
Police in Waco have charged 170 people with “organised crime in reference to … capital murder” in what could potentially represent the largest mass arrest on a capital charge in American history.– The Guardian.
The Guardian also reported that sergeant Patrick Swanton as saying:
“What happened here today could have been avoided,” he said. “They [the restaurant management] failed and this is what happened.”- The Guardian.
So, the incident could have been avoided?
He added: “We have been made aware over two months that rival gangs are meeting here and that the potential for violence is increasing.” –The Guardian.
“Police were already present at the scene because authorities were aware of the likelihood of trouble between the gangs, Swanton said,” – The Guardian.
The police had suspected some violent incident to happen during the meeting between the gangs; so they were there at the scene; but they do not have the rights to interfere before the incident happen because they have no rights to do so!
He said that police had attempted to get the local management to assist but they “would not cooperate”. –The Guardian.
The First Amendment in the American Constitution says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The police had the rights to take actions to prevent the violent incident from happening.
The government of United States does not give the total freedom of owning and carrying guns to their citizens.
In this case, the police had done their job and they were actually there before the shooting started but sadly, their hands were tied.
The police can’t do anything because not like Singapore, the United States does not have laws like the Internal Security Act (ISA) of Singapore (Cap. 143, 1985 Rev. Ed.), where police can take actions to prevent such crime if they have information that it could happen; furthermore carrying guns is legal in the United States.
Innocent people and children could had been killed and the police could not do anything to stop it from happening in the first place.
It is sad that such a violent incident that could had been prevented can’t be stopped.
After all the mass shootings in the United States, is it right for the United States to tell Malaysia torepealthe Sedition Actafter the Western powers and the United Nations had forced Malaysia to abolish the ISA?
Without the laws, mass shooting and mass killing like theSandy Hook shooting incidentcould be a norm in Malaysia just like in the United States.
I am surprised that the United States had not learnt that too much freedom and the rights to carry guns are part of the reasons that cause the many incidents of mass shootings and mass killings and expect other country to abolish laws that could prevent such incidents.
Perhaps the government of Singapore can brief the United Nations on why they still keep the ISA.
Is total freedom to do anything they want as demanded by the human rights groups is more important than preserving a peaceful community and the safety of minors and old people who may not be able to protect themselves?
A passenger jet has reportedly crashed in eastern Ukraine in an area where separatist rebels have been engaging Ukrainian army forces in recent weeks.
The Malaysia Airlines plane, travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, apparently had 295 people on board and crashed near the town of Snezhnoe, according to a report from Interfax news agency which could not immediately be confirmed.
A source in the Russian aviation industry told Reuters that the plane did not enter Russian airspace when expected and had indeed crashed in eastern Ukraine.
In recent days the Ukrainian air force has lost planes in the area after they have been shot down by rebels. Earlier on Thursday, Ukraine accused Russia of downing one of its fighter jets inside Ukrainian territory. -The Guardian