1. ITV Report

Colleague tells of doctor's inconsolable grief at losing family in fire

Dr Abdul Shakoor and his wife Sabah Usmani Photo: Facebook

A colleague of Dr Abdul Shakoor has laid flowers at the house where his wife and four of his children were fatally injured in a suspected arson attack.

Dr Purnami De Silva, an Endocrinologist and Diabetes Consultant, said colleagues at the Princess Alexandra Hospital were shocked at what had happened and wanted to show their support for a respected doctor who'd been devastated by the loss of his wife and four of his children.

The Shakoor family
Dr Purnami De Silva arrives to lay flowers on behalf of staff at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow Credit: ITV Anglia

Doctor Sabah Usmani, sons Sohaib, 11, and Rayyan, six, and 12-year-old daughter Hira died in their end-of-terrace house in Barn Mead, Harlow, in the early hours of Monday.

Her husband Abdul Shakoor suffered minor injuries as he fought to rescue his family from the blaze.

A third son, Muneeb, nine, and daughter Maheen, three, were rescued by fire crews and taken to hospital in a critical condition but Muneeb died later at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow.

Maheen remains in a critical but stable condition at a specialist burns unit at the Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford.

Dr Shakoor has been transferred to the Broomfield to be closer to his daughter. He is said to be traumatised.

Essex Police are treating the blaze as suspected arson and there is evidence that some form of accelerant was used.

Dr Shakoor worked at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. Dr Usmani did not work as she cared for the children. Originally from Karachi, Pakistan, they lived in Saudi Arabia, where the children were born, for more than a decade before moving to the UK.

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