Netizen 24 GBR: Heartbroken son, 18, denied reunion with mum, 29, who died in Grenfell Tower fire

By On May 29, 2018

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 ‘everything changed’ when Berkti Haftom, 29, and his 12-year-old brother Biruk died in the tragedy.

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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.

‘When my grandmother died in 2016, everything changed. She (Ms Haftom) was really worried about me because I couldn’t cope on my own. Since that time she kept calling me to promise me, saying, “you will soon be with me,” the teen told the hearing in central London.

‘When 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 didn’t see my mother for 15 years.’

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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.

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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 ‘brother’, always looked after him.

Remembering that his cousin was always good with secrets, he said: ‘Let me tell you a secret, I wish I was with you there that night, but don’t tell my mum.’

‘I won’t forget you, brother,’ he finished.

Of his aunt, he said: ‘You didn’t die alone, a part of me left with you.’

Seven-year-old Hemen Yemen said her cousin Biruk was ‘very sweet and handsome’, in the video tribute.

She said: ‘We were all excited but the fire took the excitement away from us.

‘I was very happy but my happiness has gone because of the tragedy of Grenfell Tower.

‘I miss him so much I still don’t know what to do without him.’

MORE: Man heard family die in Grenfell then their bodies were pieced together ‘bone by bone’

MORE: Grenfell dad died after going back to wake up his daughter

MORE: ‘I want to die so I can see my father in heaven’ says son of Grenfell victim

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