British Artist Khadija Saye Among the Missing After London Tower Blaze

The emerging photographer was reportedly trapped in the burning tower.

Khadija Saya. Image via Independent Curators Forum.
Khadija Saye. Image via Independent Curators Forum.

British artist Khadija Saye is missing in the tragic aftermath of a fire that engulfed a London residential tower that has claimed 12 lives and left dozens injured.

The 24-year-old was reportedly trapped in her apartment at Grenfell Tower with her mother, Mary Mendy, who is thought to be in her fifties. Saye was last heard from during the blaze at about 3:00 a.m., when she sent messages to friends via Facebook saying “please pray for me,” according to the Evening Standard.

David Lammy, a British member of parliament for the London district of Tottenham and husband of Saye’s mentor Nicola Green, posted an appeal on Twitter saying, “If you have any information about Khadija Saye please contact me. She is our dear friend, a beautiful soul and emerging artist.”

Speaking to the Standard, Green added, “We’re desperately trying to communicate with all the hospitals. We’re told some people have been rescued up to the 19th and 20th floor. She was on the 20th floor. Nobody has any information at this point.”

Green said she has mentored the budding artist for four years and described her as “One of the most beautiful, kind and soulful people I’ve ever met.”

The photographer’s work is currently on view at the Diaspora Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, an initiative of the Independent Curators Forum. The ICF also posted a plea for information to its Facebook page.

We are seeking any information on the whereabouts of our dear friend Khadija Saye who lives on the 20th floor of…

Posted by ICF International Curators Forum on Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Eyewitnesses described scenes of chaos, including desperate residents dropping children to safety, and jumping out of the burning building. The BBC reported that the fire broke out shortly before 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning, and that several hundred people were in the tower when the fire started, most of them asleep. London’s Metropolitan Police announced that 12 people have died, and that many remain unaccounted for.

“I do anticipate that the number of fatalities will sadly increase,” police commander Stuart Cundy told the broadcaster.


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