Four Vietnamese migrants feared dead named by police after human remains found inside scorched mill

5 August 2022, 00:24

Uoc Van Nguyen, 31 (top left), Cuong Van Chu, 39, (top right), Nam Thanh Le, 21 (bottom left) and Duong Van Nguyen, 29 (bottom right), were all believed to have been inside a mill when a blaze ripped through the building.
Uoc Van Nguyen, 31 (top left), Cuong Van Chu, 39, (top right), Nam Thanh Le, 21 (bottom left) and Duong Van Nguyen, 29 (bottom right), were all believed to have been inside a mill when a blaze ripped through the building. Picture: Greater Manchester Police

By Sophie Barnett

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

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A major incident was declared on 23 July after human remains were discovered by demolition workers at Bismark House Mill, in Oldham, months after a huge fire lasting four days destroyed the building.

No one was believed to be inside the building at the time of the fire, police said.

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

None of them have been formally identified.

Read more: Major incident declared after builders discover human remains inside scorched building

On Friday, a spokesman for Greater Manchester Police, named four people believed to have been in the mill at the time the blaze tore through the building. They were all reported missing on July 21.

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

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

Police declared a major incident after the human remains of four people were discovered by demolition workers.
Police declared a major incident after the human remains of four people were discovered by demolition workers. Picture: GMFR
On Saturday May 7, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service attended a huge blaze.
On Saturday May 7, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service attended a huge blaze. Picture: 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 May 4 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.

"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."

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 mipp.police.uk.

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

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