Despair of riot victims

People who lost their homes and livelihoods when riots first erupted in London recall the night they narrowly escaped with their lives.

August 11, 2011 09:10
1 minute read.
UK cleans up after rioting

UK riot 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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These are the people paying the heaviest price of the first London riots that erupted in Tottenham.

Their homes and livelihoods went up in flames during the violence and looting, deliberately set ablaze.

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They're in a temporary shelter, getting by on donations of basic daily necessities.

Tottenham resident Mehmet Asdoyuran's home was among those reduced to ruins.

Asdoyuran said, "I was happy to be alive but I was absolutely gutted because there was nothing we could do. I looked around. There was hardly any police about, no fire engines at all, which was a bit of a surprise seeing as there was a police helicopter flying above. Also surprised that the helicopter or vans didn't give us some sort of warning: 'Can you please get out of there' on a tannoy system."

Tottenham resident Lance Chinnan's home was also destroyed.

Chinnan said, "The whole building was just engulfed. I've said earlier it looked like something out of Independence Day or something like a Hollywood film, like it had been CGI'd because just every single window frame had been blown out and there were flames rising from everywhere you could see."

Many of Tottenham's residents are now considering their future in the district that's been their home, in some cases, for most of their lives.

Tottenham resident, Mehmet Asdoyuran says all he wants to do is leave.

Asdoyuran said, "It's just not worth the risk, to be honest with you. Lovely house, listed building, and it's gone. They can't rebuild the listed building again so most of us are looking to move out."

Despite the despair, those left homeless by the actions of a mob say they're overwhelmed by the generosity of people who've donated everything, from blankets to clothes and children's toys.

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