Three people appeared in court over horrific Leicester explosion


LEICESTER: Three people appeared in court Monday in connection with the Leicester explosion which is believed to have claimed the lives of five people. The men are each charged with five counts of manslaughter and of arson with intent to endanger life. Five people died when a shop, Zabka, and the flat above it were destroyed in the blast, which was followed by a huge fire, shortly after 7pm on Sunday, February 27.
The accused are Aram Kurd, 33, of Hillary Place, Braun stone, Leicester; Arkan Ali, 37, of Drake Close, Oldham; and Hawkar Hassan, 32, of St John’s Terrace, Great Yarmouth. No pleas were entered during the brief hearing and all three were remanded in custody, the Leicester and Mercury has reported.

Court Sketch (L) Aram Kurd, Arkan Ali and Hawkar Hassan

Two brothers, Shane Ragoobeer, 18, and 17- year-old Sean, who lived in the flat with their parents and younger sibling, both died in the tragedy.
Shane’s girlfriend, 18-yearold Leah Beth Reek, of Melton, also died. Viktorija Ijevleva, 22, of Oldham, is also one of the deceased. She was believed to be working in the shop at the time of the blast. The remaining missing person is Mary Ragoobeer, 46, Shane and Sean’s mum.

Five victims of Leicester explosion. (Top L) Sean, Mary and Shane Ragoobeer, Leah Beth Reek and Viktorija Ijevleva

She is believed to be the fifth fatality, but that is yet to be confirmed. Two other men, both in their 30s and from East Anglia, who were arrested on Friday, have since been released but remain under investigation. Leicestershire Police yesterday said they had made a sixth arrest in connection with the case. A man in his 40s, from East Anglia, has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter. He is in custody, being questioned by detectives.