As a testament to their unbreakable spirit, Londoners gathered together on the streets outside a burnt-out high-rise building to break the Ramadan fast Wednesday evening.
The community iftar, or evening meal, came at the end of a tragic day for community members and residents of Grenfell Tower, a 24-story apartment building in West London gutted by fire early Wednesday. At least 12 people were killed and dozens were injured in the blaze. Police said they expect the death toll to rise as the search for missing residents continues.
Many who responded first to the blaze were Muslims, who were up early to eat a pre-dawn meal for Ramadan, before beginning the day’s fast from both water and food. Many Muslim families lived in the apartment complex as well.
Despite the day’s tragedy and the fact that people in emergency situations aren’t obliged to fast, many Muslims in the area opted to continue to refrain from eating and drinking, according to Zia Salik, head of fundraising at the humanitarian organization Islamic Relief. At the end of the day, they gathered together to break the fast as a community.
Photos and videos posted to social media show neighbors and volunteers from the areas around Grenfell Tower gathering on the street to break the fast: