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Coordinates: 52°37′59″N 1°09′36″W / 52.63319°N 1.16005°W / 52.63319; -1.16005The 2018 Leicester explosion occurred shortly after 19:00 GMT on 25 February 2018 where an explosion destroyed a shop in Leicester, killing five people.[1] Police declared it a major incident.[1] Carlisle Street and parts of Hinckley Road were closed in the immediate aftermath.[1] Mary Ragoobar, her sons Shane and Sean and Leah Beth Reek, Shane's girlfriend, were in the flat when the explosion happened.[2] Leah was also a volunteer at a hospice.[3] They were killed in the explosion but another son survived.[2] Viktorija Ijevleva, a shop worker, also died.[2]

Contents

FuneralEdit

The Ragoobar family funeral was held at Leicester Cathedral, where Jose Ragoobar spoke of how powerless he felt at seeing the devastation that the explosion that killed his family caused.[4] Her niece Shanen Ragoobar spoke of the joy she brought into peoples' lives.[4] Family members travelled from Mauritius for the funeral.[4]

Arrests and trialEdit

Three men were arrested on manslaughter charges in February.[5][6] In October, the suspects, Aram Kurd, Hawkar Hassan, and Arkan Ali, were charged with fraudulently trying to benefit from an insurance scam, on top of existing charges of murder and manslaughter.[7]

During the trial, it was alleged that Viktorija Ijevleva had helped obtain insurance for the shop, but was left to die because "she knew too much".[2] She had been the girlfriend of Ali.[2][7]

ConvictionEdit

On 28 December 2018, Kurd, Ali and Hassan were each convicted of five counts of murder.[8][9] They were also convicted of fraudulently conspiring with Victoria Ijevleva to make a gain by dishonestly pursuing an insurance claim in respect of the fire.[8] They had started a fire using 26 litres of petrol in the basement of the shop, the resulting explosion made neighbours think a bomb had exploded.[8]

On 18 January 2019 Kurd, Ali and Hassan were sentenced to life imprisonment.[10] Ali and Kurd must serve at least 38 years and Hassan at least 33.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Leicester explosion: Six hurt as blast destroys shop". BBC News. 26 February 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Leicester explosion: Trio 'wanted £300k insurance payout'". BBC News. 14 November 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Leicester explosion: Tributes paid to hospice volunteer". BBC News. 28 February 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "Mourners gather for Leicester shop blast family's funeral". BBC News. 20 April 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Leicester explosion: Police make three manslaughter arrests". BBC News. 28 February 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Three men arrested over fatal Leicester explosion". The Guardian. 28 February 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Leicester explosion 'linked to insurance fraud'". BBC News. 18 October 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Murphy, Simon (28 December 2018). "Three men convicted of murdering five people in Leicester explosion". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  9. ^ "Leicester explosion: Three men guilty of murdering five people". BBC News. 28 December 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  10. ^ a b Walker, Amy (18 January 2019). "Three men jailed for murder of five in Leicester shop blast". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 January 2019.