Pinay JIL member missing in wake of London residential building fire

June 15, 2017 - 6:31 PM
Flames and smoke rise from a major fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London. (photo by Toby Melville, Reuters)

MANILA – A Filipino woman is among those still missing in the aftermath of the deadly fire that gutted a 27-story residential building in London on Wednesday.

Senator Joel Villanueva identified the woman as Ligaya Moore, a member of the Jesus is Lord (JIL) Movement, the church where the senator’s father Eduardo is a leader.

“Until now we are having a hard time looking for her whereabouts. We have already informed our embassy, and hopefully makatulong ito, tayo, in finding Nanay Ligaya Moore,” said Villanueva on Thursday.

“I don’t know how old she is, but most likely around 60 years old. I was informed na siya lang magisa ang nakatira doon [that she’s the only one living there],” added Villanueva.

“She is a JIL (Jesus Is Lord) member. Actually, yung JIL Church is adjacent to the building. I was informed lang na doon siya nakatira and up to this time, more than 24 hours na, [there’s still no word]. We are still praying and we are very hopeful na she’s safe.”

He said the church has been coordinating with the embassy. At about 2 a.m. Thursday, Villanueva said they tried calling a Filipina nurse at the hospital where most of the fire victims had been brought, but there was still no information on the whereabouts of Nanay Ligaya.

The huge fire that engulfed the 27-story block of flats in central London has affected Filipinos, including a female infant, the Philippine consulate had confirmed.

More than 200 firefighters, backed up by 40 fire engines, fought for hours to try to control the blaze, London’s deadliest for a generation. The Grenfell Tower apartment block was home to about 600 people, said earlier wire reports.

Consul General Senen Mangalile of the Philippine Embassy in London said Wednesday afternoon that he was able to talk to some of the Filipinos staying at the Grenfell Tower in the north Kensington area, who were able to scamper to safety.

However, he also received information that some Filipinos were rushed to hospitals after they were hurt in the incident.

Mangalile said in a radio interview he could not yet determine how many Filipinos were living in the building also called “council housing,” which was built by the UK government for people with low incomes.

Some 3,000 to 4,000 Filipinos live in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, according to Mangalile.

In its Facebook page, the Philippine Embassy in London said it “will continue to gather information on the incident and would appreciate feedback from the ground.”

“Should any Filipino citizen need assistance as a result of this incident, the Embassy may be reached at +44 7802 790695 or [email protected].”