British police arrest men over Leicester blast that killed five people

Sunday’s explosion caused the collapse of a building that housed a shop and a two-storey apartment

Emergency services at the scene in Leicester, Tuesday Feb. 27, 2018, where emergency services are still searching for victims after an explosion which destroyed a building on Sunday. British police said Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018, they have arrested three men in connection with the explosion that killed five people. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)
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British police say they have arrested three men in connection with an explosion over the weekend in the English city of Leicester that killed five people.

Sunday’s blast caused the collapse of a building which housed a shop and a two-storey apartment.

Leicestershire Police said on Wednesday that “police investigating the cause of the explosion and fire in Leicester... have arrested three men on suspicion of manslaughter".

“The three men, all in their 30s, have been arrested late this afternoon and are being questioned by detectives,” the force revealed. “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,” the statement continued.

“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," the statement concluded. After the initial blast, in a city with a large Muslim population, there were suggestions on social media that it could have been the work of either religious or political extremists.