UK

Grenfell fire: Two inquests open as further victim named

Hesham Rahman (left) and Ernie Vital Image copyright Family handouts
Image caption Inquests into the deaths of Hesham Rahman (left) and Ernie Vital were opened and adjourned

Inquests into two more victims of the Grenfell Tower fire have been opened at Westminster Coroner's Court.

Remains of both Hesham Rahman, 57, and Ernie Vital, 50, were found on the 23rd floor of the building.

A total of 54 inquests have now been opened after at least 80 people died in the blaze on 14 June.

The Metropolitan Police also formally identified another victim - Denis Murphy - who is believed to have been trapped on the 14th floor.

The total number of victims now identified stands at 57 - including baby Logan Gomes, who was stillborn in hospital on the day of the fire.

Mr Rahman lived alone on the 23rd floor and was identified after a dental examination, Coroner's Officer Eric Sword told the court.

He was reported to have had diabetes, which made it difficult for him to walk downstairs, and was said to have last made contact with his family at around 03:00 BST on the night of the fire, when he told them he could smell smoke.

Mr Vital, was believed to have lived on the 19th floor with his mother Marjorie, 68, who also died in the blaze. He was identified by his DNA.

The family of the man, who worked in catering, called him "proud, humble, mature and independent", as well as a "loyal son" and a "law-abiding citizen".

Westminster Coroner Fiona Wilcox was told the men's preliminary cause of death was "consistent with the effects of fire" before she adjourned both cases.

'Gaping hole in our hearts'

The latest victim to be identified, 56-year-old Mr Murphy, was called an "amazing, selfless, caring person" in a statement from his family - released through the Met Police.

Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Denis Murphy has become the 57th person to be identified as a victim of the blaze

They said how the 10 weeks waiting for him to be identified were "agonising", adding: "The pain, loss and sorrow we feel is indescribable and we have been left devastated with a gaping hole in our hearts that can never be filled.

"We feel lucky and blessed that he was part of our family, and his warmth and love will stay with us forever."

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