Leicester explosion: Boy's 'miracle' rescue from rubble

image captionScotty Ragoobeer was heard shouting for help

A murder trial has been shown dramatic footage of a 15-year-old boy buried under rubble following a massive explosion that killed three members of his family.

Scotty Ragoobeer survived because he was dug out by police and members of the public just before the blast site in Leicester was engulfed by flames.

However his mother and two older brothers perished, alongside his brother's girlfriend and a shop worker.

Three men are accused of their murders.

Aram Kurd, Hawkar Hassan and Arkan Ali are also accused of alternative charges of manslaughter, together with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

image copyrightFacebook
image captionSean Ragoobeer, 17, Mary Ragoobar, 46, and Shane Ragoobeer, 18, were all killed

Sobs could be heard from the public gallery as the footage of Scotty buried under the explosion debris was shown in court.

In the footage filmed on a police bodycam, a male voice can be heard asking: "What's your name, chap?"

A voice can then be heard from the rubble replying: "Scotty."

He was given reassurance he would be rescued and survived in what the prosecution described as a "miracle".

He was buried so deep he could not be seen in the footage, but had been heard shouting for help.

image copyrightLOROS
image captionShane Ragoobeer's girlfriend Leah Reek, 18, was also killed

David Herbert QC, prosecuting, told Leicester Crown Court: "A voice shouting for help could be heard from within the rubble and a teenager... who had been in the flat with his family, was pulled out from the rubble.

"He said his brother was trapped.

"While they searched what was left of the building it became engulfed in flames.

"Before long the flames reached so high that they were above the roofs of the nearby buildings."

Bodycam footage also showed passerby Thomas Lindop lying unconscious and bleeding among the rubble.

He was caught by the explosion when he was walking past the shop and suffered a traumatic brain injury and fractures to his skull, pelvis and spine.

image copyrightPA
image captionThe Zabka supermarket and flat above it at 253 Hinckley Road were destroyed by the explosion and fire

The explosion happened at 19:01 GMT on 25 February at 253 Hinckley Road, destroying the Zabka supermarket on the ground floor and the flat above it.

The defendants are accused of causing the explosion in order to make about £300,000 from insurance that had been taken out for the shop.

The five people killed were Mary Ragoobar, her sons Shane and Sean Ragoobeer, Shane's girlfriend Leah Reek and shop worker Viktorija Ijevleva, who was Mr Ali's girlfriend.

The prosecution say Miss Ijevleva conspired with the three men but was left to die in the explosion and fire because she "knew too much".

image copyrightLeicestershire Police
image captionThe court heard Viktorija Ijevleva, 22, "knew too much" about the plot and was left to die in the fire

The trial heard how Shane Ragoobeer and his girlfriend tragically entered the flat only six minutes before the explosion.

Police know this because they were filmed by a CCTV camera as they entered via the rear of the building at 18:55.

In the final footage of them before their deaths, Leah Reek could be seen using either a torch or mobile phone to find her way to the flat in the dark, while Shane Ragoobeer appeared to be carrying a case in his hand.

A minute later, at 18:56, the CCTV footage showed a man running from the building. The prosecution say this was Mr Ali, who had poured petrol in the basement of the building and was "in a hurry" to get away as he knew it was about to explode.

image captionThe three men face charges of murder and manslaughter

The prosecution said the petrol was lit by either Mr Ali or shop keeper Mr Kurd, while Mr Hassan acted as the getaway driver.

Mr Herbert said the men did nothing to warn Miss Ijevleva about the blast and Mr Kurd had taken her mobile phone.

"If they were responsible for the explosion and fire they had ample opportunity to warn her but they can't have done," he added.

Mr Kurd, 34, of Hillary Place in Leicester, Mr Hassan, 33, of no fixed address, and Mr Ali, 37, of Drake Close in Oldham, each deny five charges of murder, five charges of manslaughter and a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

The trial continues.

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