Friends and families of Grenfell Tower missing frustrated in their searches


A number of friends and family members of those missing following the Grenfell Tower fire told of chaos and frustration as they tried to find information about their loved ones.

As Prime Minister Theresa May said the support on the ground was "not good enough", members of the public told the Press Association there appeared to be no centralised list of those missing, and that they were forced to continually visit or call the various rescue centres and hospitals that were dealing with those affected.

Mirna Suleiman, 26, a family friend of the first named victim, Mohammad Alhajali, claimed she and members of his family were told by the designated casualty line that there was no such list of missing people - even a day and a half after the fire had taken place.

"I spoke to the casualty helpline and they didn't have any information... they didn't offer any help. I was expecting to hear lists of missing people, lists of people who had died, passed away. (But there was) nothing, they weren't collating these numbers."

She also claimed that the rescue centres maintained no formal records of those that had attended, and even said one hospital told her they were unable to say whether Mr Alhajali was there for confidentiality reasons.

Ana Ospina, aunt of missing 12-year-old Jessica Urbano, was also highly critical of the way those seeking information were dealt with.

She tweeted on the afternoon after the fire: "Can't get through to hospitals for info on my niece and the helpline is useless as they only take info and are not able to give information.

On Friday, she tweeted at London Mayor Sadiq Khan: "We've had little help in our search for my niece Jessie authorities going by lists yet children found in wards not even on them?"

And on Saturday, with the schoolgirl by then missing for almost four days, she wrote: "No news yet on our Jessie and the family is tired of being fobbed of by the authorities. Where is the help for the families?"