Grenfell Tower: Global roots of fire victims

Excerpt from Source:

Dated: 14th June 2018

The tower block fire in west London on 14 June, 2017, left 72 people dead and destroyed the lives of hundreds of others.

As the flames from a small fridge fire on the fourth floor grew into the UK’s worst fire since the wartime Blitz, the effects began to be felt around the world.

It soon became clear that this was no ordinary fire; not least because the tower’s diverse community meant that Grenfell was, and still is, an international disaster.

Many of the building’s residents had loved ones around the globe. There were families who perished with links to Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Colombia, Dominica, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Italy, Iran, Ireland, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, Sierra Leone, Spain, Sudan, Syria and Trinidad.

We have been to meet some of those left behind.

Kamru Miah – Bangladesh

Kamru Miah was 79 years old. He moved to the UK from Bangladesh in 1963, aged 26, and worked his way up from his first job as a baker’s assistant to eventually becoming a talented chef.

Kamru died after becoming trapped in his home on the 17th floor of Grenfell Tower – along with his second wife Rabeya Begum, his sons Mohammed Hamid and Mohammed Hanif and his daughter Husna “Tanima” Begum.
Video: Grieving relatives in Bangladesh

His eldest son in London, Mohammed Hakim, had moved out of the family home.

As the harrowing details of the family’s last desperate phone calls from the burning block began to emerge – a telephone would also ring almost 5,000 miles away in the remote Bangladeshi village of Khoilshaura.

Rania Ibrahim – Egypt

At 01:40 on 14 June 2017, Rania Ibrahim looks out of her 23rd-storey flat and streams what she sees live on Facebook. It is the only footage that has emerged from inside Grenfell Tower that night.

A group of people gathered in her home. Within hours, they will all be dead.

Amongst them, Rania’s young daughters Fathia, five, and Hania, aged three.

As Rania broadcast her last moments to the world, watching the news in horror in southern Egypt was her sister Randa.
Video: Randa Ibrahim remembers her sister Rania

“I couldn’t believe it when I first saw the Grenfell Tower fire. It was a massive shock for me. The scene was horrific. I broke down in tears and began screaming hysterically as soon as I saw it.”

“I know that my sister was living on the top floor. My brother told me Rania was on the phone with him until she said that the fire had reached her apartment – and those were her last words.

Rania was 30 years old and had been in the UK since 2009.

Her husband Hassan Awad was in Cairo at the time of the fire. He lost his everything, his wife, his daughters and his home.

Choukair family – Lebanon

Bassem Choukair was 40 when he died in the fire on the night of the 14 June. His wife Nadia, 33, her mother Sirria, 60, and his three daughters; Mierna, 13, Fatima, 11, and Zainab, three, all died with him.

Three generations of one family lost in a single night.

For Bassem’s parents in Lebanon, the enormity of their loss is hard to process.

Bassem’s father Taan says the pain is unbearable.
Video: Grieving parents in Lebanon of Bassem Choukair

Bassem came to England from Lebanon 17 years ago. He married Nadia and his dream was to give his girls a good start in life.

As the inferno gripped the tower, Bader was watching, with no idea that her son and his family were inside.

“We didn’t know. I woke up in the morning. I turned on the TV to watch the news as usual. They were saying that a tower was on fire in London, and it was obvious how the fire was burning, but I didn’t think that my son was in that same building.

“It was two hours later that I was told that my son was living there. And I lost my mind.”

#grenfell #justice4grenfell

Producers: Efrem Gebreab and Louise Adamou
Video producers: Muhammad Shahnewaj, Joya Berbery, Alain Alkhoury, Sarah Magdy, Sherif Foley, Sameh Maher
Graphic designer: Gerry Fletcher
Online production: Dominic Bailey

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