Grenfell Tower fire: Mother-of-six escapes West London blaze 'before realising two of her children not there'

'She is now breaking her heart' 

Samuel Osborne@SamuelOsborne93
Wednesday 14 June 2017 13:24
London fire: Flames engulf Grenfell Tower in Kensington

One woman who escaped the huge fire that engulfed Grenfell Tower in west London said she lost two of her six children as she tried to escape from the block, a witness has said.

"Everyone was in shock, everyone was fleeing, screaming," Michael Paramasivan, a resident of the block, told the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme.

He said the heartbroken woman fled from her home as the fire spread through the tower block, but although she thought had left with all six of her children, only four were with her when she reached the exit.

'Like 9/11 and The Towering Inferno in one' - Firefighter recalls Grenfell horror

Mr Paramasivan said: "I spoke to a lady that lives on the 21st floor. She has got six kids. She left with all six of them. When she got downstairs there was only four of them with her.

"She is now breaking her heart."

As many as 600 people were living in the tower block before it was destroyed by the fire this morning.

Six people have died so far, but the Metropolitan Police warned the total is expected to rise.

NHS England said 74 people are being treated in six hospitals across London, of whom 20 are in critical care.

Mr Paramasivan told the Press Association: "There were explosions everywhere you looked, lots of bangs, blue gas coming out everywhere you looked.

Michael Paramasivan and his daughter Thea Kavanagh, 5, managed to escape the fire

"About 12 floors up I saw three children waving from a window and then there was just an explosion and they disappeared.

"They were three kids, they were banging on the windows, you could see their silhouettes and then bang, it just went up."

More than 200 firefighters attended the scene, with a number receiving minor injuries.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the fire had been declared a "major incident" and there would be a "great many questions" asked over the coming days.

The Metropolitan Police have set up a casualty bureau for anyone concerned about their friends and family on 0800 0961 233.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments