Leicester

Leicester shop explosion: Three men deny manslaughter

Aftermath of Hinckley Road shop blast Image copyright PA
Image caption The shop and flat above were both destroyed in the blast

Three men accused of causing an explosion which gutted a shop in Leicester, killing five people, have denied arson and manslaughter.

A flat above the Polish supermarket in Hinckley Road, was also destroyed in the blast on 25 February.

Aram Kurd, Arkan Ali and Hawkar Hassan appeared at Leicester Crown Court via video link.

All three have been remanded in custody until another hearing at the same court in August.

Image caption Store owner Aram Kurd is among the three men charged with arson and manslaughter

The defendants are:

  • Aram Kurd, 33, of Hillary Place, Leicester
  • Hawkar Hassan, 32, of no fixed address
  • Arkan Ali, 37, of Drake Close, Oldham

They each face five counts of manslaughter and one count of arson with intent or being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

A further charge of conspiracy to commit fraud with Viktorija Ljevleva, one of the deceased, between December 31, 2017 and February 26, 2018 was also denied by the three men.

Image copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption Mary Ragoobar lived in a flat above the shop with her sons Sean and Shane

Mary Ragoobar, 46, and her sons, Shane Ragoobeer, 18, and Sean Ragoobeer, 17, who lived in the flat above the shop, died alongside Shane's girlfriend Leah Reek, 18

Mr Ali's partner, 22-year-old shop worker Viktorija Ijevleva, also died in the explosion.

Mrs Ragoobar's husband, Jose Ragoobeer, was working at the time of the explosion. Their youngest son Scotty survived.

Inquests into the deaths of the five victims have been opened and adjourned.

Image copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption Leah Reek, who was Shane Ragoobeer's girlfriend, also died in the explosion
Image copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption The explosion killed shop worker Viktorija Ijevleva, who was the partner of one of the men accused of arson and manslaughter

At an earlier hearing at Leicester Magistrates' Court, the prosecution said the explosion had been caused by petrol spread throughout the shop.

Seven people have been arrested in total over the explosion.

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