Dozens of firefighters tackle huge blaze at luxury London hotel

Almost 100 firefighters are currently tackling a blaze at a luxury London hotel.

Photo:Barbara Graham/@babsgraham via Twitter.

London Fire Brigade said 20 engines and 120 firefighters and officers had been sent to the scene at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, in Knightsbridge,  as huge plumes of smoke could be seen rising into the sky.

LFB said the blaze was “very visible” and they had received more than 35 calls about the incident so far.

The hotel has 12 floors, the brigade added.

Photo:@matthewickens via Twitter.

A statement said: “The Brigade was called at 3.55pm. Fire crews from Chelsea, Kensington, Hammersmith, Battersea and other surrounding fire stations are at the scene.

“The cause of the fire is not known at this stage.”

Several witnesses have been posting videos and images of the incident.

A hotel spokesman said: "We are aware that there is a fire at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, and that the fire brigade is at the hotel.

"As the situation is still unfolding, we have no further details to share at this time, but will provide an update soon."

Staff from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel have been evacuated to Hyde Park where they were being given bottles of water.

One worker, who asked not to be named, said: "The fire alarm started and everybody was told to get outside.

"Everything's fine but we don't know how it started yet."

Jack Martin, a 21-year-old student from Peckham, said he was coming out of Knightsbridge station when he saw a "huge billow of smoke".

He told the Press Association: "I obviously was quite shocked when I saw all that smoke.

"But they were evacuating the building when I arrived, there were a fair amount of staff and guests and it was all fairly orderly.

"It was all quite calm and collected, there wasn't any hysteria and I thought it was well organised."

Emergency services had since cordoned off the road, he said, and although there were ambulances present he had not seen any signs of injury.

"I would say the fire is under control now. I can't see any smoke, there are firefighters and the whole building is dripping wet right now," he added.

Penelope Evans, 50, from Battersea, south London, was shopping in Harrods when she noticed the thick smoke as she was leaving.

"I saw all this black smoke coming from the sky, it was covering everything and the smell was horrendous.

"It was like people were in shock, everyone immediately just started leaving the street and the area.

"There were hundreds of fire engines, ambulances, police racing by and helicopters overhead.

"After Grenfell, I feel like people are a lot more on edge about these things, people just wanted to get out."

Photo:@matthewickens via Twitter.

- Digital Desk and PA

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