At least two Gambians have been confirmed dead in the fire that engulfed the Grenfell Tower in north London.
The inferno broke out early Wednesday morning at the 24-storey tower, a block of public housing flats in North Kensington, killing at least seventeen people.
London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton told Sky News: “Tragically now we are not expecting to find anyone else alive. The severity and the heat of the fire would mean it is an absolute miracle for anyone to be left alive.”
Among those missing and possibly now dead are two Gambians, Khadija Saye and her mother, Mary Mendy.
Adz Mendez, Khadija’s cousin, wrote: “If anyone has any information or know of anyone by the name of Khadija Saye or Mary Mendy please get in touch. My aunt and cousin are stuck in the fire at the Grenfell Tower in Latimer and we are unable to get in touch with them. May God be with them all.”
David Lammy MP of Tottenham London, wrote: “If you have any information about Khadija Saye please contact me. She is our dear friend, a beautiful soul and emerging artist.”
His wife, Nicola Green, told The Guardian that Ms Saye was last heard from at 3am on Wednesday when she was Facebook messaging from her flat, as her phone was not working.
She said: “She was on Facebook saying she was unable to get out of the flat, that the smoke was so thick. 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.’
“At one point she said she’d just tried to leave again and said it was impossible. She said she felt like she was going to faint. Someone asked ‘Did you try going down low with towels?’ She said ‘Yes, it’s in my room’. I’m assuming she meant the smoke.”
Saye, 24, is a photographer who recently exhibited her work at the Venice Biennale.
Her mother, Mary Mendy, is also believed to have died in the fire and records say the 53-year-old has been registered as living in the tower block for at least 20 years. She is believed to have been living on the 17th floor of the building.
A total of 37 people are still being treated in hospital, with 17 in critical care. They are in six hospitals across London.