Heartbroken son, 18, denied reunion with mum, 29, who died in Grenfell Tower fire
A teenager wept in court today as he told how his mum died in the Grenfell Tower fire â" weeks before they were due to reunite after a 15-year separation.
Nahom Tesfay, 18, said âeverything changedâ when Berkti Haftom, 29, and his 12-year-old brother Biruk died in the tragedy.Gang tried to disguise Â£1,500,000 in cash as chicken feed
Berkti was 10 weeks pregnant at the time of her death, the Grenfell Tower inquiry heard today.
Nahom had been left in the care of his grandmother in Ethiopia at the age of two and was preparing to join his mum and siblings in the UK for a new life last year.
âWhen my grandmother died in 2016, everything changed. She (Ms Haftom) was really worried about me because I couldnât cope on my own. Since that time she kept calling me to promise me, saying, âyou will soon be with me,â the teen told the hearing in central London.
âWhen I remember her voice you cannot even imagine how I feel. I was looking forward to living with my mum and little brother but the fire in Grenfell Tower on June 14 2017 changed everything. I didnât see my mother for 15 years.âAdvertisement Advertisement
The inquiry heard Ms Haftom was born and raised in Eritrea. However, conflict with Ethiopia erupted in 1998 and, some years later, Ms Haftom left for the UK.Meghan Markle's sister says her coat of arms 'looks like it was drawn by a child'
It had been too dangerous to take her eldest child with her.
Tributes were also m ade to Biruk by his young cousins.
In a poignant video message, Simon Michael, 10, said he wished he had been in Grenfell Tower on the night of the fire.
He said Biruk, who he called his âbrotherâ, always looked after him.
Remembering that his cousin was always good with secrets, he said: âLet me tell you a secret, I wish I was with you there that night, but donât tell my mum.â
âI wonât forget you, brother,â he finished.
Of his aunt, he said: âYou didnât die alone, a part of me left with you.â
Seven-year-old Hemen Yemen said her cousin Biruk was âvery sweet and handsomeâ, in the video tribute.
She said: âWe were all excited but the fire took the excitement away from us.
âI was very happy but my happiness has gone because of the tragedy of Grenfell Tower.
âI miss him so much I still donât know what to do without him.â
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