Three men have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter in connection with an explosion in Hinckley Road which reportedly resulted in the deaths of five people.
The remains of five people were found at the site of a building destroyed in the huge blast on Sunday night.
A statement from Leicestershire Police said: ‘Police investigating the cause of the explosion and fire in Leicester on Sunday evening (25 February) have arrested three men on suspicion of manslaughter.
‘The three men, all in their 30s, have been arrested in the last hour and are being questioned by detectives.
‘One man comes from East Anglia, the second from the North West of the country, and the third from the East Midlands.
‘No further details will be released about these individuals at this stage.
‘We acknowledge that the terrible events of Sunday night in Hinckley Road have attracted significant public, political and media interest.
‘However, in the interests of the ongoing investigation, and out of respect for the families of those missing feared dead, and those who were injured in the explosion and fire, we request that the media and public resist speculating about the identities of those arrested, the circumstances that may have led to their arrest and the cause of the explosion.
‘Whilst we will not disclose further details at this stage, we stress that there remains no evidence that the events of Sunday night are in any way terrorist related.’
Following the blast, tributes have been paid to an 18-year-old hospice volunteer who is among five people believed to have been killed.
Leah Beth Reek, from Melton Mowbray, is officially listed as missing by police along with four other victims of Sunday’s blast, including her boyfriend Shane Ragoobeer.
In a statement, the LOROS Hospice, which serves Leicestershire and Rutland, confirmed she had recently been nominated for the Lord-Lieutenant’s Young Volunteer of the Year award for her work.
The statement read: ‘It is with great sadness to hear that Leah Reek is one of those missing following the incident that took place in Hinckley Road, Leicester.
‘Leah had been volunteering at LOROS since September 2017, as part of our Day Therapy Team and was known for her bubbly personality and sense of humour.
‘She worked hard and her passion for committing to pursue a career in the health sector was clear, with the patients’ needs always at the forefront of her work.’
Prime Minister Theresa May has assured the public that ‘everything will be done’ to investigate the deaths.
While Leicester West Labour MP Liz Kendall said the explosion had come as ‘a terrible shock to the local community’.