Grenfell Tower resident asked if helicopter could be sent

A 999 call handler has admitted she may have offered false hope to Grenfell Tower residents who believed they could be rescued by helicopter.

Hashim Kedir, 44, his wife Nura Jemal, 35, daughter Firdaws Hashim, 12, and sons Yahya Hashim, 13, and Yaqub Hashim, six, were among the 72 people who died in last year’s June 14 fire.

Transcripts of emergency calls made from their flat on the high-rise’s 22nd floor were shown at a public inquiry into the blaze on Friday.

Tower block fire in London
Yaqub Hashim, aged six, died in the blaze (Grenfell Tower Inquiry/PA)

A caller asked: “Could you get a chopper or something? Could you get a helicopter or something to get us out?”

London Fire Brigade control room officer Christine Howson said: “There’s one there, okay, all right? The fire brigade are on their way now. They’re making their way.”

Ms Howson was asked at the inquiry if this might have offered “the hope or expectation that they would be rescued by helicopter”.

Tower block fire in London
Nura Jemal (Grenfell Tower Inquiry/PA)

“Possibly, yes,” she said. “It possibly could have done that. That was not my intention though.”

The officer was taken through several 999 calls she handled on the night of the fire and questioned about the advice she gave.

“Things that should’ve been happening, weren’t happening. We should’ve… these people should’ve been rescued and we weren’t able to get to them,” she said.

“The policies we had, which had always worked in the past, they weren’t working.”

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