Oldham factory fire victim identified as Vietnamese migrant via immigration database, inquest finds

Vietnamese immigrant Uoc Van Nguyen (pictured), 31, is the only identified victim

An inquest was opened today into the deaths of two people after human remains were found at a burnt-out mill in Oldham.

Married Vietnamese migrant Uoc Van Nguyen, 31, is the only victim identified so far – via the National Immigration Database – after the devastating fire in May.

JThree other missing Vietnamese nationals are also believed to be dead by police.

An inquest at Rochdale Coroners Court today heard Mr Nguyen’s remains were discovered on July 28.

This is just five days after a first set of human remains was discovered by demolition workers at Bismark House Mill.

Specialist officers were able to obtain fingerprints from Mr Nguyen’s body, which matched an immigration and asylum database, which led to his official identification, it was reported. hearing.

It is understood that until the day of the fire on May 7, Mr Nguyen had remained in regular contact with his wife – named by Chief Coroner Joanne Kearsley as Tran Thi Huy – and told her that he was in a mill.

He was born in the Nghe An region of Vietnam and had previously worked as a farmer.

It took firefighters four days to put out the heartbreaking Bismark House Mill blaze in Oldham, Greater Manchester

It took firefighters four days to put out the heartbreaking Bismark House Mill blaze in Oldham, Greater Manchester

Police have been in direct contact with relatives of the victims in Vietnam, but the remains of a fourth alleged victim have yet to be found

Police have been in direct contact with the victims’ family in Vietnam, but the remains of a fourth alleged victim have yet to be found

The Superintendent and Senior Identification Officer told the hearing: ‘Officers were able to obtain partial fingerprints and searched them against a national database, the prints matching an immigration database and asylum.”

Superintendent Hughes told the court that an initial autopsy had been carried out, which was inconclusive. Mr Nguyen’s case is currently “uncertain”.

So far, human remains of three people have been discovered inside the mill – including those of Mr Nguyen.

The Vietnamese nationals named by the police who are still missing are Cuong Van Chu, 39, Duong Van Nguyen, 29 and Nam Thanh Le, 21.

Cuong Van Chu, 39, arrived in the UK in June 2019. He has maintained regular contact with his wife and children but they have not heard from him since May 7.

Cuong Van Chu, 39, arrived in the UK in June 2019. He has maintained regular contact with his wife and children but they have not heard from him since May 7.

All of the men, including Uoc Van Nguyen, were reported missing to Greater Manchester Police on July 21. At the time of the fire, crews believed no one was inside the plant.

But shortly after demolition work began, the remains of an adult male were found seven weeks later on July 23, prompting the declaration of a major incident.

Ms Kearsley said: ‘On May 7 a building known as Bismark House was the subject of a large scale fire. It took four or five days to extinguish the fire.

The building was deemed unsafe and was demolished.

Duong Van Nguyen, 29, told his family that he was residing in

Nam Thanh Le, 21, last contacted his family on May 4 and told them he was residing in

Left: Duong Van Nguyen, 29, told his family that he was staying in “an abandoned house” while looking for work. Right: Nam Thanh Le, 21, last contacted his family on May 4

“On July 23, wreckers discovered human remains and a report was made to GMP. GMP conducted an investigation. Initial inquiries suggest there had been contact two days earlier suggesting there may be four people missing who may or may not have been linked to the factory.

An inquest into another unidentified individual has also opened at Rochdale Coroner’s Court in relation to human remains recovered from the Bismark House demolition site on July 26.

An autopsy performed on this set of remains also proved inconclusive. The inquest heard that police were unable to obtain fingerprints and were therefore unable to identify the victim.

Superintendent Hughes said the force hoped to obtain DNA from the remains, but the court heard that process would likely take ‘months’.

Manchester North Senior Coroner Joanne Kearsley formally opened both inquests and adjourned them for further review in January 2023.

The first set of remains were discovered by wreckers two weeks ago and a major incident has been declared

Police found a third body in the building, where suspected victims of human trafficking were being held

Police found a third body in the building, where suspected victims of human trafficking were being held

Specialist officers have declared a major incident and started the search for the remains of the fire after the first set of remains were discovered by wreckers two weeks ago

Specialist officers have declared a major incident and started the search for the remains of the fire after the first set of remains were discovered by wreckers two weeks ago

It took firefighters four days to put out the blaze at Bismark House Mill on Bower Street, a built-up area with many commercial units

It took firefighters four days to put out the blaze at Bismark House Mill on Bower Street, a built-up area with many commercial units

Speaking after the official identification of Uoc Van Nguyen, Superintendent Hughes said: “On behalf of everyone involved in Operation Logan, I extend my condolences to Uoc’s wife and loved ones. ” Specially trained agents are in direct contact with them and ensure that they are fully informed and supported.

“Investigations are ongoing to establish why Uoc and others, currently unidentified, were in the plant during the fire. Anyone with information that could help us should contact Greater Manchester Police or Crimestoppers, anonymously.

Married father Cuong Van Chu, 39, arrived in the UK in June 2019. He has remained in regular contact with his wife and children but they have not heard from him since Saturday May 7.

Duong Van Nguyen, 29, arrived in the country about a year ago and last spoke with his family about three months ago. He told them he was living in an “abandoned house” while looking for work.

Nam Thanh Lee arrived in the UK in January and last contacted his family on Wednesday May 4. The 21-year-old said he was living in an ‘abandoned house’ in ‘Dam’, believed to be Oldham, as he looked for a job.