Police identify remains of four men found following mill fire

The remains of four men found following a mill fire have been identified after police travelled to Vietnam to collect DNA samples.

Specialist officers began searching Bismark House Mill, in Oldham, Greater Manchester, in July after human remains were found by demolition workers following a blaze on May 7.

Remains found at Bismark House Mill
Cuong Van Chu (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

On Friday, Greater Manchester Police said the men had been identified as Cuong Van Chu, 39, Uoc Van Nguyen, 31, Duong Van Nguyen, 29, and 21-year-old Nam Thanh Le.

A file has been passed to the coroner and inquests into their deaths are due to be opened in the coming weeks, a force spokesman said.

Uoc Van Nguyen remains
Uoc Van Nguyen (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

The spokesman said eight GMP officers had travelled to Vietnam in early autumn to obtain statements and DNA samples, required for criminal and coronial proceedings, from 18 people across different regions.

They also spoke to Vietnamese government and law enforcement officials.

Remains found at Bismark House Mill
Duong Van Nguyen (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

A search of the remnants of the mill, which started on July 23, continues.

Two people previously arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and drugs and organised crime offences remain on bail.

Remains found at Bismark House Mill
Nam Thanh Le (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts said: “The thoughts of all involved in this operation remain with these men’s loved ones in Vietnam.

“Though we have been liaising with them for several months, this development will understandably be upsetting.

“Since the first discovery at the end of July, GMP and partner agencies have completed a huge amount of work, both at the site and behind the scenes, to enable the completion of essential overseas inquiries.

“The deployment to Vietnam enabled us to obtain essential statements and DNA samples but also to meet the families face-to-face, to ensure the service they receive is not compromised by the distance between Greater Manchester and Vietnam.

“Though the identification is an important milestone for the operation, our work is far from over. At the site, work will continue until the search is complete.

“Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the criminal investigation team will exhaust all lines of inquiry to ensure any criminal offences are identified and those responsible face justice.

“I would like to use this opportunity to publicly thank the local community and our partner agencies for supporting this operation. Not forgetting our officers and staff, who are leaving no stone unturned in investigating the circumstances surrounding these deaths and finding answers for the families.”