Hospitals and Irish Muslim community united in shock after UK fire claims family
Consultant neurosurgeon Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar lost his wife and three children
The scene of the house fire at Wood Hill, in the Spinney Hills area of Leicester which claimed the lives of four people. Photograph: Phil Barnett/PA Wire
The Muslim community in Ireland and hospitals where consultant neurosurgeon Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar has worked yesterday expressed shock and offered condolences after the deaths of his wife and three children in a house fire yesterday.
Shehnila Taufiq, who was in her forties, died along with her three teenage children Zainab, Bilal and Jamal after a fire broke out at their terraced home in Wood Hill in the Spinney Hills area of Leicester in England, yesterday morning.
Dr Ali Saleem of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Dublin said the family had been prominent members of the Muslim community. They were all together in Ireland about a month ago for the festival of Ramadan.
Mr Sattar’s wife and children had been living in the UK for the past five years in order to avail of the Islamic education on offer there – but were regular visitors to Ireland and the family home, which is located in the Castleknock area of Dublin.
Dr Saleem said the family had planned to reunite in Ireland after the children finished their education.
“They were a very friendly family and a very peaceful family, and very highly educated,” he said. “The children were very promising children.
“He has had all that taken from him now and he is left alone in his life. I believe he needs a strong faith to live with this tragedy. Everybody is really sad. People do not believe it. It’s the worst news for him to hear in his life.”
Dr Saleem added the children had recently memorised the Koran, which is considered a “rare achievement” for Muslim children raised in Ireland.
The board of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, said they had learned “with shock” of the fire and “tragic loss” of their colleague’s family.
“We wish to express our sincere condolences to Mr Sattar and assure him that our support and thoughts are with him at this devastating time,” the hospital added in a statement.
Blackrock Clinic and Hermitage Clinic also expressed their shock at the incident that “tragically took the lives” of Mr Sattar’s family. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr Sattar at this most difficult time.”
The chief executive of Temple Street Children’s University Hospital Mona Baker said the board and staff at the hospital had learned “with shock, of the tragic loss suffered by our colleague Mr Taufiq Sattar, consultant paediatric neurosurgeon”.
“We wish to express our sincere condolences . . . our support and thoughts are with him at this devastating time.”
Beaumont Hospital said staff and colleagues of Mr Sattar were shaken and devastated by the news.
“We wish to express our sincere condolences to him and assure him that our support and thoughts are with him at this terrible time.”