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Three killed in London fireball crash

Three people have died after a car smashed into a sheltered housing block and burst into flames near Notting Hill today.  

Nine people from the retirement home were rescued by London firefighters following the horror crash at the junction of Great Western Road and Woodfield Road at 4.50am this morning.

A Metropolitan Police officer at the scene said the driver had come over a canal bridge before losing control of the vehicle. 

Firefighters extinguished the blaze but three people were pronounced dead at the scene, just a hundred yards from Westbourne Park station. A huge cordon is in place and expected to last several hours. 

One horrified witness, who lives across the road and asked not to be named, told MailOnline that a man was seen trying to pull screaming victims to safety before their car was engulfed in flames.  

‘I heard a big smash and knew it was a car crash, but not how bad it was,’ he said. ‘I came out to see what had happened and two guys were trying to get their friend out of the car, but it was being engulfed in flames.

‘They had the door open and the man was screaming ‘get me out of here!’ But they couldn’t get him out and ran away.  

Three people have died following a road traffic collision in Westminster 

Emergency services at the scene at Great Western Road in Westminster

Emergency services at the scene at Great Western Road in Westminster

Three killed in London fireball crash

Nine people from the retirement home were rescued by firefighters following the horror crash in Great Western Road at 4.50am

‘The next minute the car exploded in a fireball – there’s not really anything anyone could have done.’ 

A man called Evan, who lives 100 yards down the road, said: ‘I’d woken up to go to the toilet and heard a big bang which sounded like someone slamming down a big metal bin – it was just one big, sharp snap.

‘I don’t think it was actually raining at 4.45am, although it started when the Fire Brigade arrived.

‘I saw the blue lights passing, but I didn’t know where they were going to, just that it was close by.

‘Then I woke this morning and saw on the news that three people had died.’Maggie Bernardele, 33, from Argentina who lives a few doors down from the crash scene, said: ‘I flew back from Italy yesterday and got home around 1am.

‘My first thought when I woke up was that it was a garbage truck or something like that. But I would never have thought it was a car colliding into a building 50 metres away from our building.

‘It’s usually a really busy road, but this morning when we woke up it was silent.’ 

Emergency services at the scene on the Great Western Road, Notting Hill, west London

Emergency services at the scene on the Great Western Road, Notting Hill, west London

A number of residents were evacuated from the building as a precaution. A scene remains in place and enquiries are ongoing

A number of residents were evacuated from the building as a precaution. A scene remains in place and enquiries are ongoing

One witness who lives on the road told LBC they saw a neighbour run out to try to help the people in the burning car.

They said: ‘It’s a shock – you don’t expect something like that to happen. There’s no words. It’ll stay with us for a while.’

Another said: ‘There were flames shooting up from the car. There were people on the street and all the traffic stopped. It was like something out of a movie. My kids were crying. It was horrific.’ 

Manuel Gaspar, manager of the Transparent World cleaning company, based opposite the crash, told the Standard: ‘The impact was awful. There was debris spread all over the road.  

‘We saw a neighbour who was very brave. He had just woken up and didn’t have a shirt on and was trying to get into the passenger door. All the other doors were stuck or too damaged. 

‘The smoke was going into the old people’s home and then the fire started in the back of the car.’ 

Emergency services at the scene on the Great Western Road, Notting Hill, west London

Emergency services at the scene on the Great Western Road, Notting Hill, west London

There are not believed to be any other injuries and at this stage no other vehicles are believed to have been involved. A number of residents were evacuated from the building as a precaution

There are not believed to be any other injuries and at this stage no other vehicles are believed to have been involved. A number of residents were evacuated from the building as a precaution

A nearby coffee shop owner said some of the first witnesses on the scene of the Great Western Road crash were visibly shaken when they came to a get a drink from him on Tuesday morning.

Goao Santos, who runs the BICA coffee shop in Westbourne Park station, opened up at around 6am.

He told the PA news agency: ‘The guy cleaning the street, the cleaner, he came to get an espresso. They said it’s a really bad car crash.

‘They went there, they said the car was on fire, they tried to rescue but could they could not rescue.’

Mr Santos added that someone in the man’s group then called the police.

‘He couldn’t even tell how many people there were inside of the car. The blaze was probably so intense. He was a bit shaken, you know,’ he said.

There are not believed to be any other injuries and at this stage no other vehicles are believed to have been involved. A number of residents were evacuated from the building as a precaution. 

Detectives from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit are appealing for witnesses and those with dash cam footage to come forward following the incident.  

Anyone who saw the car before the incident, or who has information, video or images that could help police, is urged to call 101 ref CAD 917/14 Sept.  

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