Belfast Telegraph

Shocking reminder of 9/11: Northern Ireland reacts to horror London tower block blaze

We can only hope the number of fatalities are low, says Gerry Kelly

By Jonathan Bell

A Northern Ireland MLA has said the horror tower block blaze in London was a shocking reminder of the events of September 11, 2001.

Fire erupted at the Grenfell Tower block just after midnight on Wednesday. The resulting blaze engulfed the 24-storey building with scores injured and a number of deaths. Huge plumes of smoke could be seen billowing from the tower block on Wednesday morning as the rescue effort continued.

Structural engineers are monitoring the building which is thought to be unstable as a result of the incident.

Read more: London fire: Resident claims faulty fridge caused Grenfell Tower blaze - deaths confirmed and more than 50 in hospital

Northern Ireland politicians have been reacting to the incident.

Ulster Unionist North Down MLA Alan Chambers said the incident reminded him of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in 2001.

"The horror unfolding around London tower block tragedy puts a lot of other things going on into perspective. Shocking reminder of 9/11," he tweeted.

Read more: Supplies pour in as families displaced by fire take refuge in social club

Speaking from London the DUP MP Ian Paisley said it was an horrific tragedy that was unfolding. He has been encouraging anyone in London to help with providing supplies to those residents left only with the clothes they were wearing when they evacuated the building. He has urged big stores in the area to help provide clothing.

He added: "Politics is transient, but this is about life and death. It is a tragic and horrific event unfolding before our eyes."

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