Anguish for Missing Lebanese Family after London Fire

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Standing by an improvised wall of remembrance for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in west London, Sawsan Choucair is still desperately hoping her six relatives will be found alive.

"Pray For Our Community", "Justice For Grenfell" and "Rest In Peace" read some of the inscriptions on the wall, as police said 30 bodies had been found so far. Dozens more are missing, feared dead.

Choucair's mother, sister and brother-in-law and the couple's three children lived on the 22nd floor of the 24-story, 120-apartment tower in Kensington.

"I'm praying for them to be in hospital," Choucair, who is of Lebanese origin, told AFP.

She said she had only spoken to her sister briefly on the phone that night.

"I could hear people screaming, shouting. I don't know where they were," she said.

More than 70 people are unaccounted for, according to media reports, although it was not known whether some of those were among the bodies recovered so far.

Police have warned some of the victims may never be identified due to the state of the remains.

Firefighters were using drones and sniffer dogs to search the building, saying some of the upper floors are still inaccessible to humans due to concerns about the stability of the structure.

Questions are growing about how the flames spread so quickly, engulfing the tower's 120 apartments.

The focus is on the cladding fitted to external walls of the 1974 tower as part of an £8.7 million ($11 million, 9.9 million euros) refit completed last year.

The cladding had a plastic core and was similar to that used by high-rise buildings in France, the United Arab Emirates and Australia which had also suffered fires that spread.

Police have said 30 people are confirmed as having lost their lives in the blaze, with more than 70 unaccounted for.

Comments 1
Thumb i.report 3 days

Social council flats, some crazy people live there... a mentally unstable person could be behind the tragedy.