AN Oldham man and two others have denied manslaughter charges after five people were killed in a shop explosion in Leicester in February.

Arkan Ali, aged 37, from Drake Close, Hawkar Hassan, aged 32, of no fixed abode and Aram Kurd, 33, from Leicester were arrested after the blast destroyed a Polish supermarket and two-storey flat on February 25.

Viktorija Ljevleva, aged 22, from Oldham, Mary Ragoobeer, aged 46, her sons Shane, aged 18, and Sean, aged 17, Leah Beth Reek, aged 18, who was Shane's girlfriend were all killed in the incident on Hinckley Road, Leicester.

The trio also pleaded not guilty to separate counts of arson being reckless as to endanger life and fraud by false representation.

During a 50-minute hearing, Kurd, wearing a grey jumper, and Hassan and Ali, wearing blue jumpers, only spoke to confirm their names and to deny all seven alleged offences.

Appearing at Leicester Crown Court on Tuesday via video-link from HMP Woodhill, the three men were told their trial is likely to be heard under a High Court Judge.