London inferno: Victims and missing


LONDON: Here are some of their stories.

Acclaimed artist 

British photographer Khadija Saye, 24, who recently had her work shown at the Venice Biennale, was named on Friday as one of the victims.

“May you rest in peace Khadija Saye. God bless your beautiful soul. My heart breaks today. I mourn the tragic loss of a wonderful young woman,” said David Lammy, an MP who knew her.

Her work at the Venice Biennale was in the Diaspora Pavilion and was devoted to Gambian spiritual practices.

“It’s been a real journey, tears shed, highs and lows, but mama, I’m an artist exhibiting at the Venice Biennale and the blessings are abundant!” she said on Facebook.

Syrian refugee student 

Syrian refugee Mohammed Alhajali, a civil engineering student who wanted to help rebuild his war-torn homeland one day, was the first victim named.

“Mohammed undertook a dangerous journey to flee war and death in Syria, only to meet it here in the UK, in his own home. Mohammed came to this country for safety and the UK failed to protect him,” the Syria Solidarity Campaign group said in a statement.

Alhajali, who lived on the 14th floor, was in his flat with his brother Omar when the fire broke out.

The two were separated during the chaotic evacuation of the building and only Omar survived.

The two had come to Britain in 2014.


Tell sons I love them

Great-grandad Tony Disson, 65, made a series of phonecalls from his flat, saying he was trapped in his bathroom.

The ex-market trader’s phone stopped responding around 4:00am (0300 GMT) after he told a friend to “tell my sons I love them”, according to The Sun newspaper.

Eldest son Lee, 47, posted a Facebook message reading: “If anyone has seen my dad, Tony Disson, could they let us know. My heart goes out to all the people at Grenfell Tower.”

Six-month-old girl 

Farah Hamdan, her husband Omar Belkadi and their six-month-old daughter are still unaccounted for, according to Farah’s father, Rkia.

“We’ve been to all the hospitals and we’ve been searching all day but we still haven’t found them. We just want to know they are safe,” he told The Sun.

The couple’s two other daughters, aged six and seven, were eventually found in hospital.

Italian architects

Italian couple Marco Gottardi, 27, and Gloria Trevisan, 27, were both missing, feared dead, according to one of their fathers.

The two architects had moved to London three months ago for work.

“At the moment there are two of our citizens who are confirmed as missing,” an Italian foreign ministry official told AFP.

An Italian newspaper, Il Mattino di Padova, said Gottardi had been on phone with his father and told him the smoke was rising before the line suddenly cut.

The paper said the couple lived on the 23rd floor.

Business graduate

Mariem Elgwahry, 27, lived on the 19th floor, where she is reported to have lived with mother Suhar.

Family and friends told The Independent newspaper that they had searched local hospitals, but had found neither women.

Elgwahry’s online profile said she was a senior marketing manager at cashback website Quidco, having graduated from the University of Roehampton in 2011 with a degree in business management.

‘Very, very scared’

Jessica Urbano, 12, has not been traced since talking to her aunt Sandra Ruiz at around 1:40am.

“She was with a group of people in the fire escape, in the fire stairs, they live on the 20th floor,” said Ruiz, while appealing for information.

“She would have been in her bed clothes and she will be very, very, very scared. We’re just desperate to find her.”

Oldest missing person

Sheila Smith, 84, is the oldest of those to be declared missing so far.

Her son Adam, who describes himself as a tech entrepreneur, launched an appeal on Twitter, writing “my Mum is missing — Sheila, 84 years old, 16th floor Grenfell Tower.”

Desperate appeal

Rania Ibrham, 30, uploaded a distressing Facebook Live video as she pleaded for help from a smoke-filled corridor before going back into her flat. She has not been contactable since.