By Omar Bah
Gambians from all walks of life have been expressing shock and sorrow over the death of at least 11 compatriots in Sunday’s fire outbreak in a New York flat.
The Gambia Government led the condolences last night. In statement on the tragedy, Government expressed its heartfelt condolences over the tragic incident which killed at least 6 children.
“We are deeply saddened to inform the general public that eleven (11) Gambians, including six (6) children, have died in the fire that broke in Bronx, New York on Sunday 8, January 2022. Latest information from our Permanent Representative in New York, and Ambassador in Washington indicate that others are still missing but efforts are underway to locate them. Both the Permanent Mission and the Embassy in Washington are working with the authorities in the City of New York with a view to locating survivors and also assisting the injured. They have also been in touch with the families concerned. Some have already been found and reunited with their families. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the Gambia Government, sends its heartfelt condolences to the grieving families for this tragic loss. The Ministry prays for God’s infinite mercy and forgiveness on the departed souls. The public will be regularly updated as we go through these trying times,” the statement said.
President Adama Barrow too has since sent his personal condolences to the family through his social media feeds.
“We are keenly following the developments through our Embassy in the United States. Meanwhile, I extend my condolences to the families of the deceased and wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” the president said.
In a statement shared with The Standard, the opposition UDP said: “The UDP is shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic fire accident which occurred in an apartment complex in the Bronx, New York, USA on January 9 causing fatalities and severe injuries to the residents.”
“On behalf of the National Executive Committee and on my own behalf I wish to express our deepest condolences for the great loss of lives. The Gambian diaspora is an integral part of our close-knit community, and as such this is a shared loss for all Gambians. We pray that all those who mourn are comforted by Almighty Allah, the Most Merciful and the Most Beneficent. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of all the deceased and injured at this very difficult time for them,” the statement released by leader Ousainu Darboe stated.
The GMC leader, Mai Fatty wrote: “I am saddened to express condolence on the tragic death of a number of Gambians who perished in a Bronx inferno, in New York, USA. I commiserate with the families, relatives and friends of the victims and with the entire Gambian community. I pray fervently, that Allah, the Lord of the Universe, bestows His Mercy upon them all, admit them into Jannatul Firdaws, and console the families left behind.
“I want to commend the Gambian community in New York for their generous acts of prompt humanitarian intervention. This is a sad moment for our Nation, and for all of us to mourn this huge national loss, and to support the needy families in any way possible. The Gambian community in the USA are very resilient, and May Allah help see us through this great tragedy.”
Meanwhile, The Standard has received report of parents perishing, leaving their babies behind while others have their children perished in the fire.