Descent into Hell. The anarchy spreads. Rule of the mob.
The headlines on the front pages of British newspapers Tuesday morning are stark. Many of them are illustrated with the dramatic photo above, which was taken by Amy Weston on Monday evening. It shows a woman leaping from the window of a burning building in Croydon, south London.
Weston normally works as a paparazzi photographer, the WENN agency's Lloyd Beiny told msnbc.com Tuesday. Speaking to WENN, Weston explained that she saw the unnamed woman sitting on her window ledge before she leapt out into the arms of police officers below:
I was told there were fires in the Church Street area, near Surrey Street Market. By the time I drove towards it, I could already see the fires from my windscreen.
There were six or seven people screaming and crying outside, and they looked like they lived at the flats that were burning. The flats were above small independent shops. A man in a white shirt was screaming that a girl was at the window and that she was ready to jump. He ran towards her but riot police had appeared and pulled him back, and they went to her instead.
As soon as she dropped, the crowds pushed back and there was no way to see what happened to her. I remember hearing people screaming that there were more people in the building. The crowds started getting angry with each other, with one group blaming another group for starting the fire.
There were warnings of gas cylinders being fired into the crowd from riot police so I got out of there. I couldn't get to my car so I had to walk, wrapping my camera in my clothes to avoid being mugged.