The Ethiopia government says eight British nationals with Ethiopian origin are still missing in an inferno that engulfed a high rise residential apartment in London.
The Ethiopian Embassy in the United Kingdom (UK) through its Twitter handle had on Thursday confirmed that a number of Ethiopians were among the casualties. ‘‘We can confirm that there are a number of Ethiopian-born citizens among the casualties,’‘ a June 15 statement read.
An updated statement issued on Friday, June 16, provided details of some of the missing persons. Amongst others: mother and son Berikti and Biruk Habtom, five-year-old Isaac Paulos, and Hashim Kidir, his wife and their three children.
I cannot imagine what these families must be going through right now. This has hit home, especially because we know these families.
The Ethiopian Ambassador to the UK, Hailemichael Aberra Afework visited families of the affected persons to offer the government’s support.
‘‘I cannot imagine what these families must be going through right now. This has hit home, especially because we know these families. The Embassy and the Ethiopian community stands united at this difficult time and is providing ongoing support to them,’‘ he said.
The latest update from the Metropolitan Police on the Grenfell Tower Block incident is that 30 fatalities had been confirmed with 24 others in hospital – 12 of who are said to be in critical condition.
The 24-storey building in West London dates back to the 1970s and had recently been refurbished. The head of London’s fire service said in nearly 30 years of service, he’d never seen anything like this.
The estate in a multi-ethnic area of London forms a recognisable part of the capital’s skyline. As the fire tore upwards and sideways through the building, trapped residents could be seen desperately seeking help.
More than 70 have been treated in several hospitals. Appeals have gone out on social media of the news of those missing. Many local people have rushed to help while churches, mosques and temples have opened their doors.