Italian couple Gloria Trevisan and Marco Gottardi, who have also been confirmed dead, made final phone calls to relatives as the flames closed in on their flat. The family’s lawyer said there was ‘no hope to find them alive’.
The fifth victim confirmed dead is Khadija Khalloufi, 52, whose husband, retired lecturer Sabah Abdullah, told of his horror of losing her after he lost his grip on her hand in the stampede as they tried to escape.
Ms Saye, a friend of MP David Lammy, was in her flat with her mother Mary Mendy, 54, who is still missing. She was last heard from at 3am when she was direct messaging from her flat, as her phone was not working.
Ms Saye had been filmed for the BBC2 documentary Venice Biennale: Sink or Swim, but that has now been pulled from schedule – a spokesman said it would not show for ‘obvious reasons’
Gloria Trevisan and Marco Gottardi: Italian couple made final phone calls to their families as flames closed in around their 23rd floor flat
Gloria Trevisan and Marco Gottardi made heart-rending final phone calls to their families as the flames rose towards their 23rd floor flat.
The couple, both architecture graduates, moved to London three months ago to look for work and were captivated by the views over the capital they enjoyed from their 23rd floor flat.
Mr Gottardi, also 27, called his family at 3.45am and again just after 4am.
His father Giannino told Italian newspaper Il Mattino di Padova: ‘In the first call Marco told us not to worry, that everything was under control, that basically we must not worry.
‘He was trying to minimise what happened, probably not to unsettle us.
‘But in the second call – and I can’t get this out of my head – he said there was smoke, that so much smoke was rising.’
The family’s lawyer Maria Cristina Sandrin said: ‘I’ve heard the recording of Gloria talking to her mother and there is no hope to find them alive.
‘She said goodbye. She said, ‘Thank you mother for what you have done for me’.’
The lawyer said the families wanted to bring the couple’s remains home to Italy, but added: ‘We don’t know in what condition we will find the bodies, if we will find the bodies.’
Khadija Khalloufi: Died in fire after her husband lost his grip on 17th floor
A retired lecturer has told of his horror of losing his wife in the London fire after he lost his grip on her hand in the stampede as they tried to escape.
Sabah Abdullah, 72, was leading his wife, Khadija Khalloufi, 52, through the smoke-filled stairwell as they fled their flat on the 17th floor.
‘I feel lost. I don’t know what’s going on. I just want my wife back,’ he told MailOnline.
When the fire started, both left their flat in pyjamas and dressing-gowns, having been asleep when the block filled with smoke. Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, he said: ‘I said to my wife, put a part of your robe over your nose so you can at least filter it, and I pulled her from the flat.
‘I pulled her from the 17th floor and it was very awkward. People were pushing and forcing you to move because each one was running for his life. It was a stampede, with killer smoke. I could see only half a metre in front of me. The noise was indescribable.
‘Not only were people screaming, you could feel that every one of them was very nervous and afraid, scared, wondering what’s going on. Nobody was expecting this. We were all coughing terribly in the black smoke. There was a mixture of people, mainly adults but some children. I thought, OK, my wife is behind me. All I need to do is keep my hand in her hand and the other hand over my nose.
‘But how could I keep my balance? They kept pushing me left and right, how could I balance? I found myself letting go of her hand and putting my hand on the rail. I thought she was safe behind me. I couldn’t keep hold of her hand and keep my balance,’ he added. ‘I had to let go. I can’t say exactly what happened next because I couldn’t see anything. I never had a head at that time. It was crazy.’
Khadija Saye: Artist was stuck in her flat on the 20th floor with her mother
Another victim of the Grenfell Tower fire has been named as 24-year-old artist Khadija Saye. Ms Saye was in her flat on the 20th floor when the fire struck, with her mother Mary Mendy, who is thought to be in her 50s.
Tottenham MP David Lammy confirmed the news on Twitter, writing: ‘May you rest in peace Khadija Saye. God bless your beautiful soul. My heart breaks today. I mourn the tragic loss of a wonderful young woman.’
The Labour MP knew Ms Saye through his wife Nicola Green, a fellow artist who mentored her for four years.
Ms Green said that Ms Saye was last heard from at 3am on the night of the fire. ‘She was on Facebook saying she was unable to get out of the flat, that the smoke was so thick,’ said Ms Green.
‘She was saying she just can’t get out and: ‘Please pray for me. There’s a fire in my council block. I can’t leave the flat. Please pray for me and my mum.”
Ms Saye’s work is currently on show in Venice, responding to the theme of diaspora. Mr Lammy had previously labelled the Grenfell Tower fire ‘corporate manslaughter’ as he spoke about the search for his friend.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘This is the richest borough in our country treating its citizens in this way. We should call it what it is, it’s corporate manslaughter, that’s what it is and there should be arrests made, frankly.
‘We built buildings in the 70s, those 70s buildings, many of them should be demolished, they haven’t got easy fire escapes, they’ve got no sprinklers – it’s totally, totally unacceptable in Britain that this is allowed to happen and people lose their lives in this way, and people should be held to account.’
MediaBites Editorial – Courtesy: MailOnline
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