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Friday, 16 June 2017

Grenfell Tower death toll reaches 30 with more than 70 people unaccounted for

Written by The Press Association

At least 30 people have died in the Grenfell Tower fire, police have revealed.

Metropolitan Police commander Stuart Cundy confirmed the death toll as he spoke near the scene of the devastating blaze in west London on Friday.

"I'm able to say at this point in time at least 30 people have died as a result of this fire," he said.

Mr Cundy said the victims included one person who had died in hospital.

"There is nothing to suggest at this time that the fire was started deliberately," he added.

At least 30 people have died in the Grenfell Tower fire, police have revealed.

Metropolitan Police commander Stuart Cundy confirmed the death toll as he spoke near the scene of the devastating blaze in west London on Friday.

"I'm able to say at this point in time at least 30 people have died as a result of this fire," he said.

Mr Cundy said the victims included one person who had died in hospital.

"There is nothing to suggest at this time that the fire was started deliberately," he added.

More than 70 people are believed to be unaccounted for since the blaze, which police fear was so devastating that some victims may never be identified.

Mr Cundy said he expected the death toll to rise further.

He said: "The building itself is in a very hazardous state. It is going to take a period of time for our specialists, both from the police and from the London Fire Brigade, to fully search that building to make sure we locate and recover everybody that has sadly perished in that fire. We will be dong that as swiftly as we can."

An investigation led by a senior detective from Scotland Yard's homicide and major crime command is under way with calls for "corporate manslaughter" arrests to be made.

Mr Cundy vowed police "will get to the answer of what has happened and why", adding: "If criminal offences have been committed it is us who will investigate that."

Whole families among more than 70 missing

At least 70 people, including children and entire families, have been reported missing following the Grenfell Tower fire.

Khadija Saye

Artist Khadija Saye, 24, who is currently showing her artwork in the Venice Biennale, was in her flat on the 20th floor, with her mother Mary Mendy, who is thought to be in her 50s.

Her friend, artist Nicola Green, said: "We're desperately trying to communicate with all the hospitals.

"We're told some people have been rescued up to the 19th and 20th floor. She was on the 20th floor. Nobody has any information at this point."

Ms Green told the Press Association that Ms Saye was last heard from at 3am when she was direct messaging from her flat, as her phone was not working.

Ms Green's husband, Labour MP David Lammy, also put out a plea to find Ms Saye, tweeting: "If you have any information about Khadija Saye pls contact me. She is our dear friend, a beautiful soul and emerging artist."

Jessica Urbano

Twelve-year-old Jessica Urbano is still missing following the fire at the block.

Ana Ospina posted an image of the young girl, said to be about 5ft tall, on Facebook, saying: "Please continue to share the photo of my niece who has not yet found her. I know there are people who say they already found her, but the reality is that there has been no news of her."

Mrs Ospina told PA the young girl lived on the 20th floor, adding: "She last spoke to her mum when she borrowed a phone and told her she was on the stairs with other people.

"We than have had unconfirmed reports/sightings of her outside of the flats and also being put into an ambulance, but we have checked hospitals and no news."

Mariem Elgwahry

Emma Evans shared an appeal to find long-time friend Mariem Elgwahry, who lived on the 19th floor of the tower block and was said to be missing with her mother, Suhar.

Ms Evans said Ms Elgwahry had last been heard from when she spoke to another friend in the tower block - who was since confirmed safe - at around 2.30am.

She added that she had been to a number of rescue centres in the area "with no luck yet".

Ali Yawar Jafari

Ali Yawar Jafari, 82, is thought to be among those missing.

His son, Hamid Ali Jafari, said his father had lost contact with his mother and sister, who lived with him in Grenfell Tower, on the 10th floor.

The younger Mr Jafari said he had been to several rescue centres throughout the day since first reporting his father missing on Twitter just before 8am.

Asked if he had any news since then, he said: "No."

According to the Telegraph, Mr Jafari said: "He was with my mother and sister in the lift and she said the lift stopped on the 10th floor and he said there was too much smoke and he couldn't breathe and he got out of the lift and then the doors shut and it didn't stop again 'til the ground floor."

Raymond "Moses" Bernard

A family friend confirmed to the Press Association that Raymond Bernard, known to friends as Moses, remained missing after the fire.

Rania Ibrham

Believed to be a mother of two small children, Rania Ibrham, 30, uploaded a harrowing Facebook Live video as she appeared to be stuck at the top of the tower block, and has not been heard from since.

In the footage, she can be seen seeking help in the smoke-covered corridor of the block before going back into her home and looking down on the street below from her balcony.

Friend Rahmana Rashid posted a picture of her and two young girls on Facebook, saying: "Rania Ibrham my friend is missing from the grenfill tower, if you have seen her or have any news on her pls contact me."

Another friend, named only as Maseen, told the MailOnline: "My friend, Ranya Ibrahim, lives on the top floor with her two children who are just three and five years old."

"I received a Snapchat video from Ranya at 3am just after the fire started and I haven't heard from her since," she added.

"She lives on the top floor and her husband was not home because he is on holiday."

Hesham Rahman

Noha Baghdady shared a picture of her brother, Hesham Rahman, 57, across a number of platforms, saying he lived on the 20th floor of the tower block and had not heard any news since the fire broke out.

She said her nephews were "currently searching hospitals" and added: "I'm feeling so helpless; all we can do is pray he is safe and well."

According to Sky News, Mr Rahman's last contact with his family was at around 3am when he told them he could smell smoke.

It was also reported that Mr Rahman has diabetes, making it difficult for him to walk down stairs.

Dennis Murphy

Stevan Racz shared a post seeking information about his uncle Dennis Murphy, who he said had called while trapped on the 14th floor of the building.

"We haven't heard anything since. Can anyone with any information contact me please," he said.

A comment on another post seeking Mr Murphy said: "I've been around asking everyone, going to the centres, no one's seen him."

Mohamed Neda

A friend of missing Mohamed Neda, Ariana Neumann Rodger, posted on Facebook that "his family are severely injured and in hospital and desperate to find out where he is".

Zia Popal, who described Mr Neda as his uncle, also posted on the social network, saying: "He was on the top floor of the building trying to help (people) and went missing since.

"If anyone has links with emergency services please take a look at his photos and pass them on just in case anyone has spotted him.

"We have already been to all (the five) major hospitals but they do not have him registered."

Anthony Disson

Known as Tony, the 66-year-old is reported to have last been in contact with his family at around 3am while he was inside the building.

Lee Disson, Tony's son, posted an appeal for information on Facebook and said he was "still praying for him".

The appeal read: "If anyone has seen my Dad, Tony Disson could they let us know. My heart goes out to all the people at Grenfell Tower."

Lee confirmed to the Press Association that his father was still missing.

He is reported to have lived on the 10th floor and his wife Cordelia, Lee and three other sons have been searching for him in hospitals.

Abdulaziz Wahabi, wife Faouzia and children Nurhouda, Yassin and Medhi

All five lived on the 21st floor of the tower, according to Mr Wahabi's sister.

Hana Wahabi told reporters: "I rang him and the fire had not reached the top of the block at that point.

"He said he had been told to stay inside, stay in one room together and put towels under the door.

"I told him to leave. He said he was going to come. Then I called him and he said there was too much smoke.

"The last time I saw him they were waving out the window. The last time I spoke to his wife, he was on the phone to the fire brigade."

A man claiming to be Yassin Wahabi's uncle told Sky News his nephew is being treated in hospital, but posters and appeals for information remain on the scene and on social media.

Mohamednur Tuccu

Mr Tuccu is missing along with his wife Amalahmedin and his three-year-old daughter after visiting relatives in Grenfell Tower, his employer said.

Mr Tuccu's manager, chief executive of Red Consultancy Mike Morgan, told Sky News: "Mo is a part of the family. He will have been with us for 10 years next month and is due to be awarded his decade milestone. We all just want to hear that he is OK."

Gloria Trevisan and Marco Gottardi

The young Italian couple recently moved into the 23rd floor of Grenfell Tower.

Friends and family have appealed for information online after last hearing from the couple early on Wednesday morning.

Ms Trevisan, 26, called her mother in Italy at roughly 3.30am on Wednesday to say their building was ablaze, according to the Italian newspaper Corriere del Veneto.

A lawyer for the Trevisan family told Italian media they have "no hope" to find their daughter alive.

Ligaya Moore

The Embassy of the Philippines in London has appealed for information about Ligaya Moore, 79, who lived in Grenfell Tower.

Family of Mrs Morre told PA she is diabetic, and has lived in London for more than 40 years.

Mrs Moore's grandson, Nico Purificacion, called her "an admirable woman".

"Our family loves her so much," he said. "She's very fun to be with despite her age. So innocent yet very straightforward. She's been in London for a very long time, she visits us here in the Philippines once in a while."

A Bangladeshi family of five

Friends of a family of five who lived on the 17th floor are appealing for any reports of their whereabouts.

Bangladeshi newspaper the Dhaka Tribune named the family as Komru Miah, 82, his wife Razia Begum, 65, and their children, Abdul Hanif, 29, Abdul Hamid, 26, and Hosna Begum Tanima, 22, citing a local official.

A family friend told PA: "We are all just waiting and praying for some good news."

The Belkadi family

A family of five were among those who not been heard from since being caught up in the inferno.

Mother Farah Hamdan and her husband Omar Belkadi lived on the 20th floor of Grenfell Tower with their daughters Malek, seven, Tazmin, six, and Leena, just six months old.

After a day of frantic searching, the two eldest daughters were found in hospital by family members with the help of a nurse.

According to reports, the nurse had led them to the bedside of one of the girls after being given her description.

Once there, the relatives saw her sister in a bed nearby. One was in a coma, the other sedated, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The fate of the remaining three family members remains unknown.

Berkti and Biruk Haftom

Relatives are urgently trying to find Berkti Haftom, 30, and her 12-year-old son Biruk, who live on the 18th floor of the tower block.

They have not been seen since the blaze broke out and family have been waiting for news at the nearby St Clement's Church.

Arsiema Alula said: "There's no information from anyone who has seen them.

"We've tried the emergency number but they wouldn't give out any information.

"We tried all the hospitals, all six, but there was nothing."

The Choucair family

Nadia Choucair and her husband Bassem live on the 22nd floor with their three daughters Mierna, 13, Fatima, 11, and Zeinab, just three years old. They have all been reported missing since the fire.

Friends of Mierna have shared pictures and posters around the area appealing for information.

Hamid Kani

Sixty-one year-old Hamid Kani lived on the 15th floor, according to family, but has no relatives in the the UK.

"All members of his family are here in Iran," Mr Kani's niece, Maryam Shahvarani, told the Press Association. "They are worried to death about him."

She said he lived alone, struggled with hearing problems and wore hearing aids.

"Please someone help us to have just a little information about his destiny," she added.

Fathiya Alsanousi and children

Fathiya Alsanousi, believed to be in her 70s, has not been seen since before the fire broke out.

"People still can't get through to her," read posters which have been placed in the area. "Please keep an eye out."

Friend Suhair Sharif told Mail Online Mrs Alsanousi lived on the 23rd floor with her son Abu Feras, 38, and daughter Esra Ibrahim, 35.

All three are still believed to be missing.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2017, All Rights Reserved. Picture - Queen Elizabeth II meets members of the community affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower in west London during a visit to the Westway Sports Centre which is providing temporary shelter for those who have been made homeless in the disaster. (c) Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire.