Men in court on manslaughter charge after Leicester explosion killed five

Three men have appeared in court charged with the manslaughter of five people after allegedly starting a fire at a shop using petrol.

Arkan Ali, 37, Hawkar Hassan, 32, and Aram Kurd, 33, were arrested after an explosion destroyed a Polish supermarket and two-storey flat on February 25.

Four of the people killed in the blast have been named as Shane Rajoobeer, 18, Sean Rajoobeer, 17, Leah Beth Reek, 18, who was Shane's girlfriend, and Viktorija Ljevleva, 22.

The fifth victim killed in the explosion on Hinckley Road, Leicester, is believed to be Shane and Sean's 46-year-old mother Mary.

Leicester explosion
Leicester explosion

The trio appeared at Leicester Magistrates' Court to face a separate count of arson with intent to endanger life and were not required to enter any pleas.

Ali and Hassan, wearing grey sweatshirts and Kurd wearing a black hooded top, looked straight ahead as they followed proceedings through a Kurdish interpreter.

Another man in his 40s from East Anglia was arrested on Sunday also on suspicion of manslaughter.

Two men, also from East Anglia, were arrested in connection with the incident on Friday but have since been released under investigation.

On Monday, Ali, of Drake Close, Oldham, Hassan, of no fixed abode and Kurd, of Hillary Place, Leicester, spoke only to confirm their name, age and address during a 30-minute hearing.

The three men were remanded into custody by magistrates until a further hearing on April 3 at the city's crown court.