Grenfell Tower fire survivor breaks down on live TV

A man who lived next door to the flat where it's believed the Grenfell Tower fire began has broken down during a live TV interview.

Mahad Egal lived on the fourth floor of the 24-storey apartment block, and was woken up at 1am when someone banged on his door.

"When I went to investigate I was greeted by smoke and dark cloud," he told BBC reporter Victoria Derbyshire.

"I shut the door right back... got some towels, wet them, alerted my wife... ran into the kids rooms and wrapped them, put the towels over their heads."

Mr Egal led his family into the hallway, where the smoke was so thick he could barely see more than a metre ahead. He kicked his neighbour's door, then decided to bolt for the exit.

"I gave a good two kicks and kept running, because at this point I didn't want my kids inhaling any more smoke."

Outside, he ran into his neighbour - who told him how the fire began.

"He said his fridge exploded."

Mr Egal, who has lived in Grenfell Tower since February, said there were no working sprinklers and the alarm didn't start ringing until more than half an hour after the blaze began.

Residents were told to stay in their rooms rather than try to escape, as the building only had one way in and out. Mr Egal also said gas pipes had been installed in the stairways, which once ablaze filled them with smoke, making it difficult to escape.

"This was really horrific, there's people who were jumping out. There's a man who threw two of his children," he told the BBC, beginning to tear up.

"We saw a lot. We saw a lot, man. We saw a lot with our own eyes. We saw friends, families..."

That's when Ms Derbyshire put her arm around Mr Egal, as he sobbed.

"It's alright, you don't have to say anymore," she told him. "I'm so sorry."


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