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Entire Lebanese family among dozens missing in London's Grenfell Tower fire Open in fullscreen

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Entire Lebanese family among dozens missing in London's Grenfell Tower fire

Poster for the missing Choucair family in London [Twitter/Jamie Grierson]

Date of publication: 16 June, 2017

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Six Lebanese nationals including young children, all members of the same family, are still unaccounted for two days after a devastating fire destroyed a residential tower in London
Six Lebanese nationals including young children, all members of the same family, are still unaccounted for two days after a devastating fire destroyed a residential tower in London, killing at least 30 and leaving hundreds more missing.

Bassem and Nadia Choucair, their three daughters Mirna, Fatima and Zeinab, as well as the girls' grandmother Sareyah, are all still missing, Lebanon's ambassador to the UK confirmed on Thursday.

Sawsan Choucair, Nadia's sister, made a tearful appearance on ITV on Thursday morning, revealing she had called them around 3am during the blaze. She said she spoke to them as soon as she heard about the fire and could hear them screaming and shouting as they tried to get out.

A fire ripped through the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block in West London in the early hours of Wednesday. On Friday, firefighters continued their grim search for more bodies, amid anger over the building's reported inadequate safety.

The Sun newspaper on Friday listed 65 people who it said were still missing or feared dead in the London tower inferno.

The rescue team has been searching for missing people for several days but Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy admitted on Thursday that it's possible that "we may not be able to identify everybody".

Police also said the death toll expected to rise.

When asked on Thursday whether the death toll could exceed 100, London police commander Stuart Cundy said: "I'd like to hope that it isn't going to be triple figures."

The Lebanese family lived in separate but adjacent flats on the 22nd floor of the tower, according to Lebanon's ambassador Inaam Osseiran.

“We have contacted the British authorities and they are looking into the matter,” Osseiran told local English-language newspaper The Daily Star.

She said embassy staff have been providing support to the relatives and contacting local hospitals to see if any of the missing had been admitted for care but not yet identified.

British Ambassador to Lebanon Hugo Shorter on Friday briefed the Lebanese government on the ongoing search to find the missing Lebanese family, reported The Daily Star.

"The rescue team has been searching for the missing Lebanese among the residents of the burnt tower block in London," Shorter said, offering no other details.

The Lebanese government said it is not aware of any other Lebanese nationals caught in the tragedy.

Agencies contributed to this report

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