By Dildar Baykan
WASHINGTON (AA) - A mass funeral prayer was held on Sunday for the Muslims who lost their lives in the deadly apartment fire in the Tremont section of the Bronx, New York City.
The funeral was held at the Islamic Cultural Center in the Bronx for 15 of the 17 victims of the apartment building fire. The attendance was mostly from the Gambia.
"This is a very sad situation. But everything comes from Allah. Tragedies always happen, but we should thank Allah that we are all able to come together," said the uncle of a victim named Haja Dukuray -- who lost her entire family of five, including her husband and their three kids.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, as well as two officials from the Gambian government, were present at the funeral.
"When tragedies occur, we come together," Schumer said at the funeral.
Besides, "I'm here to voice the pain that all New Yorkers feel," Adams said.
After the funeral ceremony, 11 of the bodies were sent to New Jersey to be buried, and four others will be buried in the Gambia at the request of their families.
At least 17 people, including eight children, died in the apartment fire and 63 people were poisoned by smoke on Jan 9.
According to the New York Mayor's Office, the majority of the residents in the building were immigrant Muslims from Gambia, a country in West Africa.