Grenfell Tower: Six-month-old baby found dead in mother’s arms

A six-month-old baby was found dead in her mother’s arms in the stairwell of Grenfell Tower, an inquest has heard.

Leena Belkadi was found with her mother Farah Hamdan in the stairwell between the 19th and 20th floor of the tower, Westminster Coroner’s Court was told.

The body of her 8-year-old sister Malak was also recovered from the 20th floor of the building, with both having died from inhalation of fire fumes.

At least 80 people are believed to have died in the fire on June 14, though police have announced the final death toll will not be known until at least the end of the year.

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Coroner’s officer Eric Sword said Leena was “found in her mother’s arms” as he opened an adjourned an inquest into her death.

Her sister Malek died later at St Mary’s Hospital.

Their mother Farah Hamdan and father Omar Belkad also died in the blaze, with inquests into their deaths also opened and adjourned.

The family lived on the 20th floor of Grenfell Tower.

Westminster coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox opened and adjourned the inquests of seven people including Leena and Malak on Wednesday.

The other victims whose inquests were opened included Syrian refugee Mohammed Al Haj Ali, previously named as Mohammad Alhajali.


Firefighters work at the site of the Grenfell Tower fire (Jeremy Selwyn)

The 23-year-old was the first fatality of the disaster to be formally identified by police.

His body was found outside the tower block and his preliminary cause of death was given as multiple injuries consistent with a fall from a height, the inquest heard.

Dr Wilcox gave her “sincere condolences” to two of his family members, believed to be his brothers, who attended the hearing.

Husna Begum, 22, and her relative Rabeya Begum, 64, were also among the dead.

Both causes of death were “consistent with the effects of fire” and they were identified by dental records, the inquest heard.

Husna’s body was found in the lobby near the lifts on the 17th floor while Rabeya’s was recovered from the family’s flat on the same floor.

Five members of the family were reported missing after the fire but it is not yet clear what has happened to the other three.

The inquest of Mohamed Amied Neda, who lived on the 23rd floor, was also opened.

The 57-year-old was found outside the tower and died from multiple injuries consistent with a fall, the hearing was told.

Dr Wilcox thanked three of his family members for attending the inquest and said: “I’m impressed with your dignity.”

The final inquest was into the death of Abdeslam Sebbar, 67, who died from inhalation of fire fumes. He was found in a flat on the 11th floor of the tower and identified by DNA.

All the inquests were adjourned until an internal hearing on July 12.

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