Four Vietnamese nationals feared to have died in a mill fire in Oldham have been named. They are married father Cuong Van Chu, 39, married Uoc Van Nguyen, 31, Duong Van Nguyen, 29, and 21-year-old Nam Thanh Le.
The four, reported missing to Greater Manchester Police (GMP) on July 21, are feared to have died when a devastating blaze ripped through the mill on Bower Street on May 7.
At the time fire crews believed nobody was inside Bismark House Mill but soon after demolition work began the remains of an adult male was found almost seven weeks later on Saturday, July 23, prompting a major incident.
The remains of two more people have since been found, the latest confirmed on Thursday night. A search of the mill is continuing for more remains.
As an investigation into the cause of the fire continues, today GMP released the names, pictures and brief details of the four missing Vietnamese nationals and the last contact they had with family back home.
Cuong, 39, arrived in the UK in June 2019. He maintained regular contact with his wife and children but they have not heard from him since Saturday, May 7, 2022.
Uoc, 31, also maintained regular contact with his wife but she has not heard from him since Saturday, May 7, 2022, when he reported he was in a mill.
Duong, 29, arrived in the UK approximately 12 months ago. He last contacted his family approximately three months ago when he told them he was living in ‘an abandoned house’ whilst looking for work.
Nam, 21, arrived in the UK in January 2022. He last contacted his family on May 4 when he said he was residing in 'a derelict house' in 'Dam', believed to be Oldham, whilst looking for work.
Detectives are understood to be exploring the possibility that human trafficking could have played a part in the tragedy. Another line of enquiry is thought to be that a section of the mill was being used to farm cannabis as multiple sources said the site was being used to grow the class B drug.
Teams have been searching the remnants of the mill since demolition workers first discovered human remains there on Saturday, July 23. Specialists have confirmed the recovery of remains of three victims, though they have not yet been formally identified.
The process of formally identifying the remains could take some time.
Detective Superintendent Lewis Hughes, GMP’s Victim Identification lead, 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 is asked to contact Greater Manchester Police via 101 quoting Operation Logan. In an emergency, always dial 999. Information can also be submitted in English or Vietnamese via the Major Incident Public Portal: Public Portal ( mipp.police.uk )
Anyone who would like to remain anonymous can share information via the independent charity – Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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