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London fire horror: Vigil for victims as family and friends plead over missing

By PA Reporters

Dozens of people gathered last night for a vigil in the shadow of the Grenfell Tower while many residents remained missing.

Many were moved to tears after a moment of silent contemplation outside the Notting Hill Methodist Church in west London. The Rev Mike Long invited those present to light candles to place on the steps of the church yesterday evening.

He then played Amazing Grace on his flute as members of the crowd sang along.

He said: "There are times when all the words we can say are not adequate and sometimes words fail us because no words can do justice to how we feel, or what we have seen or what has happened. Today is one of those days. What we can simply do is look to all that we have seen today which is good, which is fabulous - people getting together."

He added: "Let light triumph over all that is rotten, that is desperate and that defies our understanding."

A number of people last night remained missing following the fire, with their relatives making desperate pleas for information about them.

Artist Khadija Saye (24), who is currently showing her artwork in the Venice Biennale, was in her flat on the 20th floor, with her mother Mary Mendy, who is thought to be in her 50s.

Her friend, artist Nicola Green, said: "We're desperately trying to communicate with all the hospitals.

"We're told some people have been rescued up to the 19th and 20th floor. She was on the 20th floor. Nobody has any information at this point."

Ms Green told the Press Association that Ms Saye was last heard from at 3am, when she was direct messaging from her flat, as her phone was not working.

Ms Green's husband, Labour MP David Lammy, also put out a plea to find Ms Saye, tweeting: "If you have any information about Khadija Saye pls contact me. She is our dear friend, a beautiful soul and emerging artist."

Twelve-year-old Jessica Urbano is still missing following the fire at the block.

Ana Ospina posted an image of the young girl, said to be about 5ft tall, on Facebook, saying: "Please continue to share the photo of my niece who has not yet found her. I know there are people who say they already found her, but the reality is that there has been no news of her."

Mrs Ospina said the girl lived on the 20th floor, adding: "She last spoke to her mum when she borrowed a phone and told her she was on the stairs with other people. We then have had unconfirmed reports/sightings of her outside of the flats and also being put into an ambulance, but we have checked hospitals and no news."

Emma Evans shared an appeal to find long-time friend Mariem Elgwahry, who lived on the 19th floor of the tower block and was said to be missing with her mother.

Ms Evans said that Ms Elgwahry had last been heard from when she spoke to another friend in the tower block - who was since confirmed safe - at around 2.30am. She added that she had been to a number of rescue centres in the area "with no luck yet".

Ali Yawar Jafari (82) is also thought to be among those missing. His son, Hamid Ali Jafari, said his father had lost contact with his mother and sister, who lived with him in Grenfell Tower, on the 10th floor.

The younger Mr Jafari said he had been to several rescue centres throughout the day since first reporting his father missing on Twitter just before 8am.

Belfast Telegraph


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