Police sound urgent appeal for help after Leicester explosion tragedy

Emergency services at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, where police have named five victims of the explosion. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday February 27, 2018. Mary Rajoobeer, 46, Shane Rajoobeer, 18, Sean Rajoobeer, 17, Leah Beth Reek, 18, and Viktorija Ljevleva are still officially missing. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Aaron Chown/PA Wire EMN-180228-085121001
Emergency services at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, where police have named five victims of the explosion. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday February 27, 2018. Mary Rajoobeer, 46, Shane Rajoobeer, 18, Sean Rajoobeer, 17, Leah Beth Reek, 18, and Viktorija Ljevleva are still officially missing. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Aaron Chown/PA Wire EMN-180228-085121001
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Detectives investigating the cause of an explosion that destroyed a flat and a shop in Leicester and left five people dead have today (Friday) made a direct public appeal for help.

Asfordby teenager Leah Reek was named as one of five people missing following Sunday evening’s tragedy and police want to hear from anyone who may have been near the mini supermarket, below the flat, in Hinckley Road, at around 7pm.

Leah (18) is believed to have been in the flat above the supermarket with 18-year-old boyfriend Shane Rajoobeer, his mum Mary (46) and brother Sean (17) when the blast occured.

As a result of a detailed and painstaking round-the-clock examination of the scene, undertaken in appalling weather conditions, and many other types of enquiries, officers arrested three men on Wednesday, all in their 30s. These men continue to be questioned by detectives this morning.

Det Insp Michelle Keen said: “Our enquiries have established that there were a number of people in the area of the supermarket in the hour leading up to, and in the minutes after, the explosion.

“I want to hear from anyone who was near the supermarket at the time and who, thinking back, remembers seeing something that they thought may have been suspicious.

“It’s vital that we speak to anyone who may have information about any people they saw coming and going into the supermarket in Hinckley Road in the hours leading up to the explosion.

“Was there anyone in acting strangely or in a suspicious manner? Did you see any vehicles parked up, or being driving in a strange manner in the area around the supermarket?”

Det Insp Keen added: “What you saw may have seemed innocent and innocuous. But no matter how small the detail, no matter how insignificant it may have seemed, we need to speak to you. The information you have may be critical in this enquiry.

“People lost their lives in the most horrific way on Sunday. We owe it to them to understand the cause of that explosion.”

Specialist officers and experts from other agencies are continuing their painstaking work at the scene this morning, sifting through and examining the rubble in the search for clues. It will be several more days until this work is completed. Until then, the area near the scene must remain cordoned off.

Human remains have been recovered but the identity of the victims has yet to be confirmed.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting incident number 443 of March 1.