A major incident has been declared by Greater Manchester police (GMP) after human remains were discovered by workers demolishing a mill in Oldham.
The finding came 10 weeks after a fire at the property in Bismark House Mill on Bower Street.
GMP said it received a report last week that four Vietnamese people were missing and “may have been involved in a fire”.
On 7 May firefighters from Greater Manchester fire and rescue service attended a fire at the mill that took four days to extinguish.
At that point it was not believed anyone was inside, GMP said. Detectives are now working to establish the identities of the deceased as well as the circumstances of the blaze.
The 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.
He appealed for anyone with information to contact the force directly or, anonymously, via Crimestoppers, adding that police were particularly interested in hearing from anyone who knew how the building was being used in the lead-up to 7 May or has information about the fire.
Due to previous contact relating to the fire and missing persons, this incident has been referred to GMP’s professional standards branch for review, the force said.
Anyone with information should submit it via the major incident public portal. Anyone who does not have access to the internet should make contact via 0161 856 0055 quoting Operation Logan.
Information can also be shared anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.