3 arrested in connection with deadly Leicester explosion

The Sunday evening explosion left the building completely destroyed.

ByABC News
March 1, 2018, 6:29 AM

— -- Police arrested three men on Wednesday in connection with a building explosion and fire in central England that killed at least five and injured five others.

The men were being questioned on suspicion of manslaughter as a part of an investigation into the Feb. 25 blast in Leicestershire, England, about two hours north of London, where the remains of five people were recovered from the wreckage of the blast, police said.

The explosion on Sunday night completely destroyed the building, a ground-floor retail shop with a two-story apartment area above, authorities said.

The suspects' names were not released, but the Leicestershire Police Department said the three men each were from different parts of the county and "all in their 30s."

The department did not offer any details on the cause of the explosion, but stressed that there was "no evidence that the events of Sunday night are in any way terrorist related."

"In the interests of the ongoing investigation, and out of respect for the families of those missing feared dead, and those who were injured in the explosion and fire, we request that the media and public resist speculating about the identities of those arrested, the circumstances that may have led to their arrest and the cause of the explosion," the department said in a statement.

Emergency officials were spotted on the scene long after the explosion, searching the remnants of the collapsed structure for any potential survivors.

Five people, including a family of three, were reported missing after the blast. Police identified the missing as Mary Ragoobeer, 46, and her two sons Shane, 18, and Sean, 17, who lived in the apartment above. Shane’s girlfriend, 18-year-old Leah Beth Reek, and Viktorija Ijevleva, 22, are also missing. Ijevleva is believed to have been working in the supermarket at the time of the explosion.

"The relatives of all five missing people," police said, "have been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers at this desperate time."

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