The tragic inferno in London’s Grenfell Tower killed at least 17 people so far and left dozens others injured. While more than 100 people are still missing, those who have survived are homeless, have lost all their belongings and possibly a loved one in the incident.
The first victim of the inferno was identified as Mohammed Alhajali, a Syrian refugee who came to Britain to seek a “better life” after surviving civil war. The young man was on the 14th floor of the building when the fire engulfed the residential tower.
The 23-year-old was studying civil engineering at the University of the West London, and is described by friends as “kind, charitable and full of passion for his family.”
Apparently, he and his brother Omar were trying to escape the building, but while his brother made it out, Alhajali got trapped inside by clouds of smoke.
Omar is currently in hospital.
According to reports, the youngster was stuck on the 14th floor for two hours while firefighters desperately tried to save residents in the building, but unfortunately, they did not manage to get past the 13th floor. Before he died, Alhajali made phone calls to friends and family in Syria and then sent out a final message: "The fire is here now, goodbye."
“He survived Assad, he survived the war, only to be killed in a tower block in London,” said a friend, Abdulaziz Almashi.
“Mohammed came to this country for safety and the U.K. failed to protect him,” he added.
Almashi, who is the co-founder of the Syria Solidarity Campaign, which promotes freedom, peace and democracy in Syria, met Alhajali while working for the organization.
“RIP Mohammed Al Haj Ali. A Syrian refugee in the U.K., Mohammed passed away in the #Grenfell tower fire yesterday,” wrote the The Syrian Solidarity Campaign on its Facebook page.
Many people commented on the post, expressing their grief over the incident and mourning Alhajali’s tragic death.
The search for hundreds of missing people is still ongoing, and although so far 17 deaths have been reported, the police reckon the death toll will be much higher.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters