THOUSANDS of mourners united in grief to say their final farewells to two Accrington dads yesterday.

Rafique Khan, 43, and Aurang Zeb Khan, 42, were killed in a horror smash when the car they were in was involved in a collision with a Mercedes at the weekend.


Their devastated family and friends attended a joint funeral service at Ghausia Mosque, in Richmond Hill Street, at 12.30pm.

The surrounding streets were gridlocked as mourn-ers parked wherever they could find in order to pay their last respects.

Inside, it was standing room only as around 4,000 people crammed in for the double service.

Hyndburn mayor Coun Munsif Dad said: “The two lads were friends and socialised together and in unfortunate circumstances they died together, so it was appropriate to have their funerals together.

“They travelled to Pakistan for burial on the same plane together last night. Everything that has happened has brought the community together in many ways.”

He added: “My utmost appreciation goes to the police and other services who have gone out their way to accomodate the families. The way they have dealt with this process is a credit to them.”

Family friend Gul Zaman said: “They were good lads. The whole community is devastated because they were well known.”

Stephanie Grimshaw, the headteacher at Spring Hill Primary School, where four of Aurang and Rafi-que’s 14 children go to school, also attended, alongside three other mem-bers of staff.

She said: “We pride ourselves on being a community school so because we feel part of the community, this has had a devastating effect on the school as well.

“We had an assembly on Monday morning to show our respect and the children were amazing. They understand the impact on their friends and were very respectful, but also very sad.”

After the funeral service, which ended at around 1pm, Rafique and Aurang’s bodies were carried from the mosque to hearses.

Flowers remembered a ‘loving husband, dad, and brother’, while Islamic prayers were played through an external speaker as Aurang’s body was driven through the terraced streets towards Manchester Airport.

Police are appealing for information after the acci-dent, at the junction of Hyndburn Road and Oxford Street, which also left four others seriously hurt. The Mercedes was travelling west along Hyndburn Road, while Rafique and Aurang’s Vauxhall was travelling north across the junction towards Asda when they collided.

Both Rafique and Aurang died at the scene.

Anyone with information can call police on 101, quoting log number 1491 of Friday, October 10.