Grenfell Tower fire victims: Seven children from same secondary school killed in blaze

Five children who attended the nearest secondary school to Grenfell Tower are believed to have died in the disaster, it was revealed today.

The head teacher of Kensington Aldridge Academy said special assemblies had been held for the victims, who are among the 80 people missing presumed dead.

It came as Sir Martin Moore-Bick was today confirmed by Theresa May as leading the public inquiry into the blaze.

The former Court of Appeal judge said he understood “the desire of local people for justice” and that this would be “served by a vigorous inquiry that gets to the truth as quickly as possible”. He said the inquiry’s purpose was to “ensure that a tragedy of this kind never happens again”. 

Grenfell Tower death toll of about 80 came mainly from 23 flats

The pupils include Biruk Haftom, 12, and siblings Yahya Hashim Kedir, 13, and his 11-year-old sister Firdaws Hashim Kedir. Former pupil Jessica Urbano, 12, who had left the school just weeks before the fire, is also feared dead.

Missing family: Hashim Kedir, wife Nura and children Yahya, 13, left, Firdaws, 11, and Yaqub, six. Yahya and Firdaws went to Kensington Aldridge Academy.

Yahya and Firdaws are believed to have died along with their parents Hashim Kedir, a black cab driver, mother Nura and younger brother Yaqub. They were inside their 22nd floor apartment in the tower block when the fire broke out.

In a letter to parents, academy principal David Benson said: “We did not take the decision to do this lightly but took extensive advice from experts and also were obliged to act in sync with what other local schools were doing. 

The Kensington Aldridge Academy (Alex Lentati)

“The overwhelming advice we have been given is that because so many of our students have heard this news from the media, police and from being around Grenfell Tower themselves, the school now repeating what the police have said publicly should help our students in the grieving process.

“We have spoken to extended families of those missing to ensure that they are supportive of us doing this.”

The names of the other pupil thought to have perished has not yet been made public.

Following the special assemblies, one parent told the Standard the school had been “amazingly supportive” to students.  

The mother said: “Everyone is still in shock. Everyone has been incredibly supportive.”

Controversial choice: Sir Martin Moore-Bick (British High Commission in Brunei)

The academy, which is yards from the tower, has relocated classes to Burlington Danes Academy in Shepherd’s Bush and Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith.

Scotland Yard yesterday announced that the presumed death toll had risen to 80, but said a full search of the tower could take until the end of the year.

The funeral of Tony Disson, who lived on the 10th floor, was taking place at lunchtime today. The Fulham fan, 65, was described as a “real family man” and “one in a million dad”. He had four sons, five grandchildren — with a sixth due in September — and three great-grandchildren.

Grenfell Tower aftermath – In pictures


The top section of the death trap Grenfell Tower

Jeremy Selwyn


The tower today, after the flames were extinguished

Jeremy Selwyn


A close up of the tower’s damaged windows



Fire service personnel survey the damage



The tower today, after it emerged at least 17 were killed

Jeremy Selwyn


Rows of blackened windows after the fire

Jeremy Selwyn


Police sent in sniffer dogs today to search for bodies

Jeremy Selwyn




The Grenfell Tower at dawn today

Jeremy Selwyn


Donations have flooded in for victims

Jeremy Selwyn


Water is sprayed on Grenfell Tower



Rows and rows of blackened windows. It is feared over one hundred people may have perished

Jeremy Selwyn


Part of the scorched facade of the Grenfell Tower in London as firefighting continue to damp-down the deadly fire



Fire crews examine the wreckage


In a statement, his relatives said he was “the heart and soul” of the family. They added: “Losing him has left a void that can never be filled. Tony was the most generous person you could ever meet, he didn’t have much but would always be there to help people.”

His son Alfie said: “Dad had a good life so to lose him in such a tragic way has made the loss hard to bear. We as a family are simply heartbroken.”


Police have made contact with at least one occupant from 106 of the tower’s 129 apartments, with the vast majority of victims coming from the remaining 23 flats, Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack said.

The Prime Minister said the Sir Martin was “highly respected and hugely experienced”.  However the #JusticeForGrenfell campaign group described his appointment as “concerning” after it emerged that in 2014 he had ruled that a single mother of five living with chronic health problems could be housed 50 miles away from her home in Westminster. The ruling was later overturned by the Supreme Court.

Mrs May said Sir Martin would “consult all those with an interest, including survivors and victims’ families”, about the terms of reference of the inquiry before it began. These terms would then be approved by Parliament.

What to know about the controversial judge leading the Grenfell probe

She said: “I am determined there will be justice for all the victims of this terrible tragedy and for their families who have suffered so terribly. We must get to the truth about what happened. No stone will be left unturned by this inquiry, but we cannot wait for ages to learn the immediate lessons and so I expect the chair will want to produce an interim report as early as possible.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan called for the interim report to be published over the summer, amid concerns that the inquiry could take years.

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