Two arrested on suspicion of manslaughter over Oldham mill fire

·2 min read
<span>Photograph: Kim Pilling/PA</span>
Photograph: Kim Pilling/PA

Two people have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and other offences after the discovery of human remains believed to be four missing Vietnamese men in a burned-out mill in Oldham last month.

The arrests were made by officers from Greater Manchester police (GMP) on Thursday morning after two properties were raided.

The two people were taken into custody for questioning on suspicion of manslaughter, drugs and organised crime offences, GMP said.

The arrests relate to human remains found in the ashes of Bismark House Mill in Oldham after a fire on 7 May.

The remains were discovered 10 weeks later after police received reports that four Vietnamese people were missing and may have been in the mill when it went up in flames.

Fingerprint analysis has so far only identified one of the missing men, Uoc Van Nguyen, from northern Vietnam.

The 31-year-old had maintained regular contact with his wife until the date of the fire, at which time he said he was in a mill.

Uoc Van Nguyen
The remains of Uoc Van Nguyen were identified through fingerprint analysis. Photograph: Greater Manchester police/PA

It is believed three other Vietnamese nationals who were also reported missing to GMP on 21 July may have been inside.

Cuong Van Chu, 39, arrived in the UK in June 2019. He had maintained regular contact with his wife and children but they had not heard from him since the night of the fire, GMP said.

Duong Van Nguyen, 29, arrived in the UK approximately 12 months ago. He last contacted his family about three months ago, at which time he said he was residing in “an abandoned house” while looking for work.

Nam Thanh Le, 21, arrived in the UK in January. He last contacted his family on 4 May, when he said he was residing in “a derelict house” in “Dam”, believed to be Oldham, while looking for work.

DCI Gareth Davies, of GMP’s major incident team, said: “Our thoughts remain with the families in Vietnam. They are being fully updated and supported by specially trained officers as we try to find the answers we need and they deserve.

“These arrests are part of our inquiries to establish why Uoc and three other currently unidentified individuals were in the mill during the fire. We are making progress, but our investigation is very much ongoing.”

Anyone with information should contact GMP via 101. International callers can contact GMP via +441618725050. Information can also be submitted in English or Vietnamese via the major incident public portal.