Police in blast probe remove items from shop owner’s home
Police searching supermarket owner’s home remove bags of potential evidence after three men in their 30s are arrested for ‘manslaughter’ after blast at his shop that killed five
Police are searching the home of the owner of a shop which was destroyed in a blast which killed five people as three men are held on suspicion of manslaughter.
Detectives have spent hours scouring the £135,000 property of Aram Kurd, 33, where he lives with his girlfriend Akvile Martinkute, 31,
The couple live in Leicester, five miles from the Polish supermarket Zabka, which was destroyed in the explosion.
A huge fireball tore through the shop and two-storey flat above causing the entire building to collapse, like a ‘pancake’.
The home of Aram Kurd, the owner of the shop destroyed in a blast, is being searched by police
Police carrying bags of items were seen leaving the property in Leicester this morning
Neighbours say they have not seen Mr Kurd since Tuesday. Police declined to say whether he is one of three men arrested
Fire people were killed in the blast which happened at around 7pm on Sunday.
Care worker Mary Rajoobeer, 46, and her two sons Shane, 18, and Sean, 17, who lived in the flat, are all feared dead.
Leah Beth Reek, 18, who is Shane’s girlfriend and 22-year-old shop worker Viktorija Ljevleva are believed to have died.
On Wednesday three men in their 30s were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.
Leicestershire Police have not confirmed Mr Kurd is one of the men in custody.
Mr Kurd, who describes himself on social media as a security worker and translator, was working in the shop at the time of the explosion, and later told how he was trapped in the rubble narrowly avoiding serious injury.
Pictured:Krishna Rungen said his brother-in-law lived at the address with his wife Mary (centre) and her three sons
Missing feared dead: Leah Reek, 18, pictured left with boyfriend Shane and shop worker Viktorija Ljevleva have not been found
An aerial view of the scene of the explosion in Leicester, where five people died and a three-storey building was demolished
Leicester Police earlier confirmed they had arrested three men in their thirties, one each in the East Midlands, the North West of England and East Anglia, on suspicion of manslaughter.
Mrs Ragoobar moved into the two-bedroom property in Leicester four years ago along with her husband, Jose Ragoobeer, 58, and the couple’s youngest son, Scotty, 15. Mr Ragoobeer was at work at the time of the incident on Sunday night, while Scotty was pulled from the rubble by a passer-by and is being treated in hospital.
All five victims will officially remain ‘missing’ until formal identifications take place. But police say this process could take some time.
Announcing the arrests, officers said there remained no evidence the explosion had any connection with terrorism.
‘No further details will be released about these individuals at this stage. We acknowledge that the terrible events of Sunday night in Hinckley Road have attracted significant public, political and media interest,’ the police statement said.
Mary Ragoobar (pictured), 46, and sons Shane, 18, and Sean, 17, have not been seen since a suspected gas blast destroyed their apartment above a Polish grocery store
Mr Kurd, who only opened the shop in December, told reporters how he cheated death in the explosion because he had gone to the back of the store to get a crate of beer when the blast happened. His colleague Ms Ljevleva had remained at the till.
He described how he heard a ‘loud bang’ and found himself thrown several feet before being trapped in rubble. After managing to haul himself free, he shouted out for his colleague but could find no trace of her.
Mr Kurd, pictured with his partner, had only opened the Zabka supermarket in December
Speaking to ITV Central, he said: ‘I was shouting Viktorija! Viktorija! Viktorija!
‘I don’t know how it happened. It was a big noise. I found myself up and then to the floor, for two or three minutes I couldn’t feel anything, I was looking up, my eyes were open.
‘I managed to pull himself from the rubble and climbed into the neighbouring garden.’
He said at the time he was unsure about what had happened to the residents of the flat above, but described them as ‘good people’.
He added: ‘I feel sorry for those people who lost their lives. I don’t know if they are kids or young. I don’t know who’s dead.
‘Forget about the money, the most important [thing] is life.’
Earlier his friend Farrah Alli Hameed, 30, told how Mr Kurd opened the shop with a second co-owner.
‘It’s such a tragedy,’ he said. ‘I came here hoping to help but because of the cordon I can’t do much. I’m not sure if it was a gas explosion, maybe something to do with the electric as they had a lot of spirits in there.’
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