Remains of a third victim found at Oldham mill fire site as four Vietnamese nationals still missing

Credit: MEN Media

The remains of a third victim have been discovered at the site of a mill destroyed by a fire more than two and a half months ago.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) declared a major incident after remains were discovered on Saturday, 23 July, at Bismark House Mill, Bower Street, Oldham.

Officers have since found remains of two other individuals, on 27 July, and on 4 August.

At the time of the blaze on 7 May, which was extinguished over four days, no-one was believed to have been inside the building, police said.

But, following concerns for four missing Vietnamese nationals, reported to GMP on 21 July, specialist officers began searching the site, where remains were discovered.

Police say "extensive search and recovery work" is continuing at the site.

The mill was destroyed by a fire on 7 May 2022. Credit: MEN Media

Detective Superintendent Lewis Hughes, GMP’s Victim Identification lead, said: "I speak on behalf of all involved in this operation when I say that our thoughts are with the potential family members in Vietnam.

"Specially-trained officers have been in direct contact with them and continue to liaise with partner agencies to ensure they are fully updated and supported.

“At the scene, extensive search and recovery work continues to ensure any further remains are respectfully recovered.

"Meanwhile, the investigation team is following several lines of enquiry relating to the fire and activities at the mill beforehand.

Assistant chief fire officer for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Leon Parkes said firefighters followed correct procedures when a decision was made not to enter the mill, due to concerns about the fire and the building’s structural stability.

But he said there would be a review of the incident and how it was managed.

The incident was also referred to Greater Manchester Police’s Professional Standards Branch for review.

Anyone with information should contact Greater Manchester Police on 101, or anonymously via the independent charity – Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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