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Coroner says all Grenfell Tower children now formally identified

Mile-stone reached, says coroner

22 September, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

Hospital porter Abdulaziz El-Wahabi who died with family in the fire 

ALL the children on the Grenfell Tower missing list have been formally identified, a coroner said on Wednesday.

A total of 66 victims of the June 14 disaster have been identified and 60 inquests held so far.

Westminster coroner Fiona Wilcox, who is overseeing inquests into the victims of the fire, said: “It was a huge mile-stone today to be able to identify all of the children off this list and although it has taken a long time, I am satisfied that all of those identities are secure and reliable.

“I wish to thank all of those who have worked so hard to achieve that and I particularly give thanks to all of those very many people who have been waiting,” she added.

Dr Wilcox was speaking at the opening of the inquests into the death of eight-year-old Mehdi El-Wahabi and Rania Ibrahim, 31. Mehdi was the son of Abdulaziz El-Wahabi, 52, a porter at University College Hospital for 20 years.

His wife Faouzia, 41, and their eldest son Yasin, 20, have also been confirmed dead. Mehdi’s 15-year-old sister Nurhouda is presumed dead.

Before the inquest family members said Mehdi was “a calm and friendly young boy who loved his family very much. He was loved by staff and pupils at his school who held a beautiful memorial and made a plaque in memory of him”.

Mehdi’s cousin Senate Jones said he made her “laugh and smile every day”. Mehdi’s remains were recovered from the 21st floor of the tower. He was identified using DNA.

Coroner’s officer Eric Sword said the provisional cause of his death was “consistent with the effects of fire”. The remains of Rania Ibrahim, 31, were recovered from the 23rd floor, where she lived.

Her husband Hassan was away at the time of the fire. Both inquests were immediately suspended to allow the police investigation and public inquiry to progress.

On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Police said the number of people who died in the blaze may not be as high as 80.

Police are also investigating reports of theft from the tower and eight fraud investigations are ongoing, where people have allegedly tried to financially benefit from the fire.

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