Bismark House Mill: human remains discovered in Oldham mill after fire, as police declare major incident

Police have received a report that four people from Vietnam are missing and may have been involved in a fire.

Police have declared a major incident after human remains were found at a mill in Oldham, where there was a major fire in May.

The grim discovery was made by demolition workers at Bismark House Mill on Bower Street.

There was a large blaze which took the emergency services several days to extinguish at the former industrial building in May.

Police have also just begun investigating the disappearance of four Vietnamese people, who officers were told last week were missing and could have been involved in a fire.

What information about the incident have police released?

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said the discovery of human remains at Bismark House Mill happened on Saturday (23 July).

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Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) were called to a blaze at the mill on Saturday 7 May this year which took four days to fully put out. At the time, it was not believed there was anybody inside the mill.

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

Police encouraged anyone with information to come forward and also explained how anyone concerned about the incident, including those living abroad, could get in touch with the force.

GMP also confirmed that as there was previous contact relating to the fire and possible missing persons the incident and how it was handled has been passed to the force’s Professional Standards Branch for review.

What has Greater Manchester Police said?

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

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

“On behalf of the investigation team, I appeal to anyone with information to contact them directly or, anonymously, via Crimestoppers.

“They’re particularly interested in hearing from anyone who knows how the building was being used in the lead-up to 7 May or who has information about the fire itself.”

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How should anyone with information or anyone who needs support get in touch with police?

Anyone with information about the fire should submit it via the Major Incident Public Portal. Anyone who does not have access to the internet should make contact by ringing 0161 856 0055, quoting Operation Logan.

Alternatively, information can be shared via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Anyone who is concerned about a missing loved one is advised to contact the Casualty Bureau. For UK callers the number is 0800 051 4675. while international callers should dial 020 459 4500.