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Syrian refugee studying engineering named as one of first Grenfell fire victims

Syrian refugee Mohammed Alhajali (23) who died in the Grenfell Tower fire. Picture from Omar Alhajali/PA Wire  
Catherine Wyatt, Press Association

One of the first victims of the Grenfell Tower fire has been named as 23-year-old Syrian refugee Mohammed Alhajali.

His friend Abdulaziz Almashi confirmed the news, telling the Press Association that the civil engineering student "was kind, charitable and full of passion for his family".

Mr Almashi, co-founder of the Syria Solidarity Campaign, met Mr Alhajali whilst working for the organisation which promotes freedom, peace and democracy in Syria.

The organisation said in a statement that Mr Alhajali was on the phone for two hours with a friend in Syria while the fire raged, as he waited to be rescued.

"When the fire reached his flat on the 14th floor, Mohammed bid his friend goodbye, saying that the fire had reached him," it said.

"Mohammed undertook a dangerous journey to flee war and death in Syria, only to meet it here in the UK, in his own home.

Firefighters spray water after a fire engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London. Picture by Victoria Jones, Press Association

"Mohammed came to this country for safety and the UK failed to protect him.

"We absolutely agree that a thorough investigation into Building Regulations should take place immediately."

Mr Alhajali, who was in his first year at the University of West London, wanted to one day return to his home country to use his engineering skills, the Syria Solidarity Campaign said.

The university said in a statement: "We are shocked and saddened to learn of the death of our student.

"Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family and friends."

Mr Alhajali's brother Omar Alhajali was also caught up in the blaze, but managed to escape.

He was later found in hospital in a stable condition.

Fire engulfing the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London. Picture by Nick Ansell, Press Association

Seventeen people have died and more are feared dead after the huge fire destroyed a tower block in west London.

'The richest council in the country and there's not enough money to refurbish the fire escape?'

Grenfell Tower fire: Death toll rises to 17

Grenfell Tower fire: Theresa May promises 'proper investigation'

Syrian refugee Mohammed Alhajali (23) who died in the Grenfell Tower fire. Picture from Omar Alhajali/PA Wire  

 

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