Grenfell Tower fire: Family of Syrian refugees among those reported missing

'I just hope that they are alive and well' says local charity worker who was helping them to learn English

Benjamin Kentish@BenKentish
Friday 16 June 2017 13:30
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UPDATE: The family have now been found safe and well but have lost everything in the blaze.

A family of Syrian refugees are among those believed to be missing following a huge fire at a London's tower block.

The family, said to consist of two parents and three women aged between 19 and 24, are reported to have lived in a flat around halfway up the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in North Kensington.

A friend of the younger women raised fears over their safety after the fire broke out in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Catherine Lindsay, who works at the Clement James Centre, a local charity that helps people find education and employment, said she had been helping to teach the daughters English.

She had reported them missing and was worried that they appear to have not been seen or heard from since the fire, Ms Lindsay told the Huffington Post.

“I just hope that they are alive and well," she said.

The Metropolitan Police said six people had died in the blaze and the death toll is “likely to rise”.

Five London hospitals were treating 74 people, with 20 of them in critical care.

Grenfell Tower was built in 1974 and contains 120 homes. It was renovated late last year but residents later complained about poor safety standards.

The building had just one emergency exit and the its fire safety policy was being reviewed by the owner, Kensington and Chelsea Tenants Management Association (KCTMO).

London mayor Sadiq Khan has admitted that “questions need to be answered” about safety standards in the tower.

The Government is also facing scrutiny after it delayed a consultation on changes that would tighten regulations relating to tower blocks.

The housing minister responsible for the delay, Gavin Barwell, was appointed as Theresa May’s new chief of staff this week.

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