Caskets are brought into the Islamic Cultural Center for a mass funeral in New York City on Sunday. AFP
A Bronx community gathered on Sunday to pay its final respects to perished loved ones, a week after a fire filled a high-rise apartment building with thick, suffocating smoke that killed 17 people, including eight children.
The mass funeral capped a week of prayers and mourning within a close-knit community hailing from West Africa, most with connections to the tiny country of Gambia.
Hundreds of people have attended the mass funeral for 15 of the 17 victims of a fire in a Bronx apartment building on Sunday in New York City.
The fire, which occurred on January 9, killed 17 and injured over a dozen people after a space heater caused a fire in one apartment.
Caskets are brought out of the Islamic Cultural Center following a mass funeral on Sunday. AFP
Residents of the building had filed complaints about a lack of adequate heating at least three times in 2021.
The caskets have been transported after a mass funeral of the victims of the Twin Parks North West multi-level apartment building fire at the Islamic Cultural Center in the Bronx borough of New York City, US, on Sunday.
Amid the mourning, there was also frustration and anger as family, friends and neighbors of the dead tried to make sense of the tragedy.
"This is a sad situation. But everything comes from God. Tragedies always happen, we just thank Allah that we can all come together," said Haji Dukuray, the uncle of Haja Dukuray, who died with three of her children and her husband.
People attend the mass funeral for victims of a fire in a Bronx apartment building on Sunday. AFP
The dead ranged in age from 2 to 50. Entire families were killed, including a family of five. Others would leave behind orphaned children.
There were 15 caskets in all that lined the front of the prayer hall. They ranged in size — some no bigger than small coffee tables, containing the bodies of the youngest souls who died.
"One week they were with us ... now they're gone," said Musa Kabba, the imam at the Masjid-Ur-Rahmah mosque, where many of the deceased had prayed.
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Harry, whose explosive interview alongside his wife Meghan plunged the royal family into its biggest crisis in decades, will quarantine in accordance with coronavirus guidelines so that he can attend the ceremonial funeral at Windsor Castle.
At least 74 people died, some after jumping through windows on the still-moving train to escape the blaze.
He was arrested and legal measures were taken against him, and he was referred to the Public Prosecution.
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