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Vietnamese, British agencies coordinate in identifying fire victims

The Consular Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK will continue to coordinate with Vietnamese and British agencies to identify victims in a blaze in Greater Manchester on May 7.
The site of the fire in Bismark House Mill, Bower Street, Greater Manchester, on May 7, 2022. — Photo courtesy of the Greater Manchester Police

The ministry said that necessary measures would be taken to organise funerals for the victims after they are verified, noting that Vietnam has asked the British side to investigate the cause of the incident, ensuring the rights of Vietnamese citizens.

Over the past few days, the department has coordinated with domestic agencies and localities to identify the families of the four Vietnamese workers who were reported missing in the fire.

The embassy has also maintained contact and provided British police with the necessary information to accelerate identification.

British police on August 4 asked Vietnam to support and coordinate the verification of victims.

On the same day, Greater Manchester Police officially announced the identity of the four Vietnamese citizens, comprising Chu Van Cuong (39), Nguyen Van Uoc (31), Nguyen Van Duong (29) and Le Thanh Nam (21). Their families had lost contact since May 7 and may have been in the fire.

The four were reported missing to GMP on Thursday, July 21, 2022.

Cuong arrived in the UK in June 2019. He maintained regular contact with his wife and children, but they have not heard from him since Saturday, May 7 2022.

Uoc also maintained regular contact with his wife, but she had not heard from him since Saturday, May 7 2022.

Duong arrived in the UK approximately 12 months ago. He last contacted his family about three months ago, saying he was residing in ‘an abandoned house’ whilst looking for work.

Nam arrived in the UK in January 2022. He last contacted his family on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, when he said he was residing in ’a derelict house’ in ‘Dam’, believed to be Oldham, whilst looking for work.

Lewis Hughes, senior investigator and head of GMP’s identification team, said that police have contacted relatives of the four and will make every effort to ensure that they are updated with information and fully supported.

“Though we have reason to suspect that Cuong, Uoc, Duong and Nam may have been in the mill during the fire, we are keeping an open mind with regards to how many people were present and their whereabouts. I, therefore, appeal to them or anyone with information about their whereabouts before or after the fire to contact us. I stress that their safety and welfare is our number one priority," the officer noted.

“We also continue to appeal for information about the fire or activities at the mill beforehand.”

Source: Vietnam News

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