'Medical emergency' at Grenfell inquiry after harrowing footage accidentally played to survivors and relatives

Rebecca Taylor, news reporter

A person collapsed after harrowing footage of the burning Grenfell Tower was accidentally played without warning to relatives and survivors on day two of the inquiry.

Staff were supposed to notify attendees before images of the tower appeared - but instead mobile phone footage flashed onto the screens showing flames engulfing the block.

Some of those watching at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, South Kensington, buried their faces in their hands, while others left the room in tears.

Lead counsel to the inquiry Bernard Richmond QC told the hearing: "I'm also aware that some people needed to leave the room, I'm sorry that the warning that should have been put out didn't get put out."

Cries could be heard from the hallway.

Several minutes later, Mr Richmond said: "Somebody has collapsed outside and is being dealt with, so if you could stay in the room that would be very helpful."

Meanwhile, the artist who gave a stark image of Grenfell Tower to Theresa May has passed on a copy to inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick as the tributes entered their second day.

Damel Carayol painted the image of the burnt-out tower block as an outpouring of grief, and presented it to Mr Moore-Bick, using the chairman's own words to remind him of the search for truth.

Passing it over, Mr Carayol said: "To Sir Martin, work until truth is laid bare."

The day began with a widower paying tribute to his wife, who died in hospital seven months after being pulled from the flames in Kensington.

Maria del Pilar Burton, who had dementia, was carried from the building by firefighters, but died in January, the results of the fire having taken a toll on her.

Mr Burton said: "She was very distressed. How do you explain what had happened to a person in her condition? That our house had gone. Our dog had gone. Our good friends and neighbours may have passed and many friends were missing. That her parents' ashes, which we had kept in the flat, had gone."

She died as her son had entered her hospital room on 29 January.

Also remembered on the second day of commemorations was Deborah Lamprell, 45, who died in the fire.

Her mother Miriam called her a "happy and fulfilled" woman and said she was "bereft" without her.

She added: "I feel a part of me has been ripped out. Nothing seems worth it any more."

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One of the victims live-streamed the fire on Facebook while she was stuck in her apartment.

Rania Ibrahim died in the tower alongside her daughters Hania Hassan and Fethia Hassan.

Her sister Rasha confessed she would still message Rania and talks to her frequently, even though she is not there anymore.

She added: "She was happiness walking on earth. No-one would sit with Rania and not smile."

Three generations of one family who died in the fire were remembered by their son, brother and uncle.

The Choucairs, made up of mother and grandmother Sirria, couple and parents Nadia and Bassem, and children Mierna, Zainab and Fatima, lived close together in Grenfell.

They were remembered by Hisam Choucair as well as other members of the family. He told of how his children were nearly caught in the fire, having spent the night at the flat there on 13 June when their mother was in hospital.

He said: "It has already ruined lives. My wife has been affected, and my children.

"This inferno has split up families and smashed up their lives."

Speaking about his family, he told of how his mother Sirria had been close to Pily, as the pair had worked together before living in the same building.

He said: "In one night I have lost half of my family. I feel like a stranger now. It has destroyed everything. I feel like part of me has been taken away.

"How do you remember six people in a short space of time? They were my family and they should still be here."

The inquiry into the June 2017 tragedy which killed 72 people continues with the commemoration of Hesham Rahman on Tuesday. More victims will be remembered throughout the week.