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Police appeal after ‘major incident’ declared following discovery of human remains in Oldham

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 26th July 2022

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is appealing to the public for information following the discovery of human remains in Oldham.

The appeal comes after the police force declared a ‘major incident’ yesterday evening.

GMP confirmed in a statement that on Saturday 23 July 2022, human remains were discovered by demolition workers at Bismark House Mill, on Bower Street in Oldham.

Since the discovery of the remains, detectives from GMP’s Oldham district and major incident team have confirmed that, on Saturday 7 May, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) attended a fire at the premises – which was extinguished over four days – but at this time, it was not believed that anyone was inside the mill.

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GMP then received a separate report on Thursday 21 July that four Vietnamese nationals were missing, and may have been involved in a fire.

“Victims and the bereaved are at the forefront of our investigations into deaths,” said Rob Potts, GMP Assistant Chief Constable.

“As such, whilst work is ongoing to confirm the identity of the deceased, we are liaising with partner agencies to ensure potential family members in Vietnam are fully informed and supported.

“This news will understandably impact both the local and wider community [but] I can reassure members of the public that this has been declared a major incident to ensure both GMP and partner agencies respond to this incident in the most effective way. Also, that specialist officers are following every line of enquiry to confirm the identity of the deceased, if anyone else was inside the mill during the fire, and the full circumstances surrounding that fire.

Read more: Fire service treating large woodland blaze near Dovestone Reservoir as arson

“Any criminal offences identified as part of their investigation will be immediately and appropriately progressed.”

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GMP says that “due to previous contact relating to the fire and missing persons”, the incident has been referred to its Professional Standards Branch for review.

The investigation team has now launched an appeal for information.

Assistant Chief Constable Potts added: “They’re particularly interested in hearing from anyone who knows how the building was being used in the lead up to the seventh of May or who has information about the fire itself.”

Anyone with information should submit it via the Major Incident Public Portal here, or call should make contact via 0161 856 0055 quoting Operation Logan.

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

Featured Image – GMFRS