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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]



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]


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]


  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.