Vietnamese nationals missing after Oldham mill fire named by Greater Manchester Police

  • Report by Granada Reports journalist Emma Sweeney

Four Vietnamese nationals who are believed to have been in a mill when it caught fire have been named by police.

Specialist officers began searching Bismark House Mill, in Oldham, Greater Manchester, after human remains were found by demolition workers in July following a blaze on 7 May.

It followed concerns that four Vietnamese nationals were missing and may have been involved.

Now, Greater Manchester Police has named the four believed to have been in the mill at the time of the fire, who were reported missing on 21 July.

Cuong Van Chu was reported missing to GMP on Thursday 21 July 2022

The force said Cuong Van Chu, 39, arrived in the UK in June 2019 and maintained regular contact with his wife and children until 7 May, but his family had not heard from him since.

Uoc Van Nguyen, 31, was also in regular contact with his wife until 7 May, when he said he was in a mill, police said.

Uoc Van Nguyen is missing and may have been in Bismark House Mill Credit: GMP

The force spokesman said Duong Van Nguyen, 29, had been in the UK for about a year and last contacted his family about three months ago, when he said he was living in an "abandoned house" and looking for work.

The fourth missing person was named as 21-year-old Nam Thanh Le, who arrived in the UK in January and last contacted his family on 4 May when he said he was living in a derelict house in "Dam", believed to be Oldham, and looking for work.

Detective Superintendent Lewis Hughes said: “Our thoughts remain with Cuong, Uoc, Duong and Nam’s loved ones.

"Specially-trained officers have been in direct contact with them and continue to make every effort to ensure they are fully updated and supported in Vietnam, as they would be in the United Kingdom.

“We are continuing to search Bismark House Mill to ensure the recovery of all human remains and any objects of significance.

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

Police say Duong Van Nguyen may have been in the mill during the fire

“Though we have reason to suspect that Cuong, Uoc, Duong and Nam may have been in the mill during the fire, we are keeping an open mind with regards to how many people were present and their whereabouts.

“I, therefore, appeal to them or anyone with information about their whereabouts before or after the fire to contact us. I stress that their safety and welfare is our number one priority.

“We also continue to appeal for information about the fire or activities at the mill beforehand.”

Nam Thanh Le may have been in the mill during the fire

Since the search began, on 23 July, human remains indicating three victims have been discovered.

None of them have been formally identified.

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

Anyone with information should contact Greater Manchester Police via 101 quoting Operation Logan or submit information in English or Vietnamese via the Major Incident Public Portal at

Information can also be shared anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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