Saturday 16 December 2017

Hundreds gather at candlelit vigil for Grenfell Tower victims

Authorities say the current death toll of 30 is expected to grow considerably as more victims are identified.

By Peter Cary

Hundreds of mourners gathered in a show of love and grief on Friday for those lost in the Grenfell Tower fire.

Mourners stood arm-in-arm at a vigil outside the Latymer Christian centre, just yards from the site of the blaze that killed at least 30 people in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The building has become a hub for the relief effort for those left bereaved and homeless in the days following the inferno.

People wept as a sea of candles illuminated the nearby streets, and sang renditions of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds and Amazing Grace during the brief service.

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The crowd then observed a two-minute silence for those killed in the tragedy, and raised candles in the air in solidarity.

A painstaking recovery effort has been taking place at the gutted tower, with authorities predicting the death toll is likely to rise considerably.

Brenda Mercer, 64, who organised the vigil, has been instrumental in helping the relief effort from the Latymer centre.

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People look at tributes outside Notting Hill Methodist Church, close to Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building on Wednesday morning. Picture: PA

The 64-year-old said: “Last night I came to the wall to lay some flowers and I was overwhelmed because of how people were actually supporting each other, hugging each other.

“There were only around a dozen people there and I thought, ‘I need to do something on a bigger scale’, so I went home and organised this.”

Press Association

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