ABC News will debut an original documentary “Surviving the Inferno: Escaping Grenfell Tower” on Thursday, July 13.
Centered on the devastating fire that engulfed London’s Grenfell Tower and killed at least 80 people nearly one month ago, the 26-minute documentary will be distributed on digital platforms and feature testimonials from survivors who escaped the building’s flames and eyewitnesses who were in contact with victims inside the apartment complex.
“Surviving the Inferno: Escaping Grenfell Tower” will include animations illustrating the path each survivor took to escape the blaze and descriptions from eyewitnesses of how the tragic night unfolded.
(ABC News shares stories of survival and loss in the original digital documentary “Surviving the Inferno: Escaping Grenfell Tower,” premiering on July 13. Courtesy of ABC News and YouTube)
Highlights from the survivors and eyewitnesses include (in alphabetical order):
Joel James (eyewitness)
- Joel was one of the first people to arrive at the scene and record video.
- He tried to enter the building to help, but was stopped by a fireman.
- “I still remember one scream was a bloodcurdling scream that came out from the apartment. There was no screaming after that.”
John Beadle (survivor)
- John lived on the same floor from where the fire started.
- “I didn’t think too much about it.”
- “The fire’s not in my flat, it’s on the opposite side to me. Obviously, the firemen were on their way, so I just went back into my flat with my friends.”
Mahmoud Alkarad (eyewitness)
- Mahmoud, a Syrian refugee and Grenfell tower resident, he lived with two other Syrian refugees, brothers Omar and Mohammad.
- “I still remember [Mohammad’s] voice. I still remember when he was standing on the window, and what he was saying to me.”
- “When I look to the building, I see him. I can hear his voice again.”
Mouna El-Ogbani (survivor)
- Mouna received a phone call from a nervous friend late at night, alerting her to the flames creeping up the side of the building.
- “It’s only when I get to the bottom of the floor that I saw how serious it was, the fire, and how quick it was spreading.”
Oluwaseun Talabi (survivor)
- Oluwaseaun, a young Nigerian was on the 14th floor with his girlfriend and four year old daughter when the fire broke out.
- Oluwaseun tried to escape through a window with sheets tied together, but was pulled back in by the same Syrian brothers that were roommates with Alkarad.
- “I can’t even go in the dark myself, I’m scared of the dark.”
Tanya Thompson (eyewitness)
- Tanya describes how the fire moved upwards and around the building, and a man waving a jumper out of a window as flames closed in on him and his flat.
- “It was Armageddon. My husband was saying just don’t look, but you can’t.”
- “It was mesmerizing and there was nothing we could do.”
“Surviving the Inferno: Escaping Grenfell Tower” will be available on ABCNews.com/Features, the ABC News mobile apps and streaming providers including Roku, Apple TV, Hulu and Xbox One.
It is produced by the Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Award-winning team that includes ABC News reporter Molly Hunter, producer Evan Simon, producer and editor David Fazekas, animator Donald Pearsall, illustrator Brendan Duffey, supervising producer Ronnie Polidoro and managing editor Xana O’Neill.
The Grenfell Tower fire will also be examined by ABC News “Nightline” with never before seen testimony from some of the survivors.
Foreign correspondent James Longman explores how the fire happened, who could be held accountable and the strength of a community forged through crisis.
Courtesy of ABC News