A driver could be heard screaming before his car exploded in a fireball in central London, killing three people.
A car caught fire earlier this morning in a block of flats near Westbourne Park tube station in leafy Notting Hill, west London.
People tried to save the screaming man buried under the rubble before he could blow it up, leaving people in panic.
A police officer present at the spot said the driver had come to the canal bridge before the vehicle lost control.
Firefighters extinguished the fire, but three people died on the spot.
A resident who lived across the street from the scene of the horrific accident said: “I heard a big bang and knew it was a car accident, but not how bad it was.
“I came outside to see what had happened and two men were trying to get their friend out of the car, but she was engulfed in flames.
They had the door open and the man was screaming but they could not get him out and ran.
“They had the door open and the man was screaming, but they couldn’t get him out and ran.
“The next minute the car exploded in a ball of fire – there’s really nothing anyone could have done.
“I could just hear the boy scream. It must have been terrible. It could have been my kids, it could have been anyone.”
Another eyewitness said a man jumped off the bed and tried to rescue the screaming victims before his car went up in flames.
“A man who didn’t have a top ran away and was trying to drag someone out of the car,” said the witness. Standard.
‘The flames are rising’
“There was screaming and screaming and there was smoke and he was trying his best but then the flames started rising. We all called the emergency services.
“The man without the top was doing his best, apparently he got out of bed. It was a terrifying sight to wake up to. I just think of poor families.”
Another said: “Flames were rising from the car.
“There were people on the street and all the traffic came to a halt. It was like something out of a movie. My kids were crying. It was horrible.”
Officials are still working to identify the victims.
No other cars are believed to have been involved in the accident, although several residents were evacuated from the building as a precaution.
See what happened? Email [email protected] or call 020 7782 4100.
Manuel Gaspar, manager of the Transparent World Cleaning Company located opposite the accident, told the Standard: “The impact was terrifying. Debris was spread all over the road.
“We saw a neighbor who was very brave. He had just woken up and was not wearing a shirt and the passenger was trying to get in the door. All the other doors were stuck or very damaged.
“There was smoke going into the old man’s house and then the rear of the car caught fire.”
Another witness reported: “I heard a huge bang and then there was an explosion. By the time I got here, the fire was extinguished.
“You could see someone in the car seat before it was all covered up.”
The authorities have now put up a cordon on both sides of the Great Western Road.
Six officers are at the scene to redirect pedestrians and traffic and the cordon at the junction of Harrow Road and Great Western Road is expected to remain in place for several hours.
A weather police statement said, “Several residents have been evacuated from the building as a precautionary measure.
“A scene is made and the inquiry is on.”
Anyone who saw the car prior to the incident, or who has information, videos or pictures that may help police, is urged to call 101 ref CAD 917/14 Sept.