Police charge three men in connection with Leicester explosion which killed five people

Emergency personnel continue to work at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, where four people were killed, after a suspected explosion and subsequent fire destroyed a shop. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday February 26, 2018. Four other people remain in hospital, one with serious injuries. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire EMN-180228-085907001
Emergency personnel continue to work at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, where four people were killed, after a suspected explosion and subsequent fire destroyed a shop. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday February 26, 2018. Four other people remain in hospital, one with serious injuries. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire EMN-180228-085907001
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Three men have now been charged in connection with an explosion which killed Asfordby teenager Leah Reek and four others.

The trio will appear before Leicester Magistrates tomorrow (Monday) to face five counts of manslaughter and causing arson with intent to endanger life.

They have been questioned by detectives since Wednesday following last Sunday’s blast in Hinckley Road, Leicester, which reduced a two-storey flat and the mini supermarket below it to rubble.

Those charged are Aram Kurd (33), of Leicester, 32-year- old Hawkar Hassan, of Coventry but originally thought to be from East Anglia, and Arkan Ali (37), of Oldham.

Two other men, who are both from East Anglia and who were arrested on Friday, remain in police custody and continue to be questioned by detectives.

Leicestershire Police have reiterated a warning that speculative reports about the cause of the explosion by national news organisations and by members of the public on social media could jeopardise their investigations.

A spokesperson said: “Throughout this complex investigation we have been urging journalists and members of the public not to speculate about the cause of the explosion.

“With three people now charged and due in court, it becomes even more important, for legal reasons, that this message is heeded.

“A continuance of such ill-informed and speculative commentary threatens to jeopardise this investigation and serves only to cause further distress to the families of those killed and injured.”

Police confirmed on Friday that 18-year- old Leah Reek had been killed in the blast, following detailed forensic tests, along with her boyfriend Shane Ragoobeer (18) and his 17-year- old brother, Sean, who lived in the flat.

The remains of Viktorija Ijevlev (22), who was thought to have been working in the mini supermarket at the time, have also been identified.

The fifth victim is believed to be Shane and Sean’s mother, Mary (46).

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward who saw anyone near the mini supermarket at the time of the blast, at 7pm.

They are asked to call officers on 101, quoting incident number 443 of March 1.