An Italian couple feared dead in the Grenfell Tower fire phoned their families to say goodbye as they watched the flames rise towards them, it has emerged.
Gloria Trevisan and Marco Gottardi were in their 23rd-floor flat when they became aware of the blaze, which killed at least 30 and injured many more.
With little chance of escape the 27-year-old architects phoned their parents, who said they told them they could see the flames raging up the stairs.
“I am so sorry I can never hug you again,” Ms Trevisan said, her father Loris told La Repubblica newspaper. “I had my whole life ahead of me. It’s not fair. I don’t want to die. I wanted to help you, to thank you for all you did for me.
“I am about to go to heaven, I will help you from there.”
After the phone line cut out at around 3am, he added that they made hundreds of calls to their daughter, but they were unable to get through.
Their daughter had phoned them at their home in Padua earlier on to say that they had heard there was a fire on the fourth floor.
But she reassured her parents that it appeared that firefighters would be able to extinguish it.
As they watched the blaze on television, Mr Trevisan said his daughter told him “they wanted to go down but said they could see flames going up the stairs and the smoke was more and more intense”.
Mr Gottardi also called his family twice at 2.45am and again just over 15 minutes later, at which point he said the apartment was “flooded with smoke” and the situation had reached emergency, his father, Giannino Gottardi, told Il Mattino di Padova.
“In the first call, Marco told us not to worry, that everything was under control, that basically we must not worry. He was trying to minimise what happened, probably not to unsettle us,” he said.
“But in the second call – and I can’t get this out of my head – he said there was smoke, that so much smoke was rising. We were on the phone until the last moment … At 4.07am [Italian time] he told us their apartment was flooded with smoke and that the situation had become an emergency.
“The communications broke down and from that moment on we no longer had any contact. The phone didn’t pick up again.”
Police confirmed on Friday afternoon that the death toll had risen to 30, and was likely to increase further. Twenty-four people remain in hospital, of whom 12 are in a critical condition, while scores of others remain unaccounted for.
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