The youngest victim of the Grenfell Tower fire, Leena Belkadi, was found in her mother’s arms as firefighters searched through the ruins of the fire. This is according to an inquest hearing that took place in Westminster Coroner’s Court.
Her body was found in a stairwell somewhere between the 19th and 20th floor in the 24-floor building. According to the coroner’s officer, Eric Sword, the baby was found in her mother’s arms. The baby’s sister, an 8-year-old named Malak, was recovered from the family’s apartment on the 20th floor. Both sisters died at the hospital due to inhaling the toxic fumes from the fire.
The children’s parents, Farah Hamdan and Omar Belkadi, were also found dead in the fire. The only survivor of the family was the couple’s six-year-old daughter, Tazmin. The tragic news about this family comes just as police revealed that the final death toll won’t be known until a year from now.
Dr. Fiona Wilcox, a Westminster coroner, opened and adjourned an inquest into the deaths of seven people who died in the Grenfell Tower, including the two children who passed away, Leena and Malak. It is unclear how well the sole survivor of this family, Tazmin, is doing at the hospital.
Another victim whose inquest was opened included the 23-year-old Syrian refugee Mohammed Al Haj Ali. He was one of the first victims of the disaster to be identified by the police.
The horrific images of the Grenfell Tower disaster traveled across the globe over the past week; and with good reason. An estimated 80 people are missing or presumed dead, leaving entire families and communities shaken up by the tragedy.
The fire trapped most of the residents within the inferno, causing most victims to either suffocate or burn. This is why most of the victims couldn’t be revealed right away. The authorities need to go through the 24 stories of the building first in order to recover the bodies of the dead, a process that will take a year.
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