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More tributes to former Norfolk student killed in blast at supermarket in Leicester

PUBLISHED: 08:29 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:53 06 March 2018

Emergency services at the scene of an explosion on Hinckley Road in Leicester. Photo credit: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Emergency services at the scene of an explosion on Hinckley Road in Leicester. Photo credit: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Further tributes have been paid to a former Norfolk student who was killed when an explosion destroyed a supermarket in Leicester.

Victims of the fatal explosion in Leicester, including Viktoria Ljevleva. PIC: Released by Leicestishire Police.Victims of the fatal explosion in Leicester, including Viktoria Ljevleva. PIC: Released by Leicestishire Police.

Viktorija Ljevleva was one of five people killed in the blast which destroyed a supermarket in Hinckley Road and a two-storey flat above.

Miss Ljevleva, who was believed to be working at the store when it was destroyed on Sunday, February 25, studied A-levels and completed a business management degree at City College Norwich.

Roz Hicks, sixth form centre curriculum manager at City College Norwich, said: “Viktorija was a friendly, cheerful and determined student who was set on a career in accountancy from the off.

“I tutored her over her two years studying A Levels and got to know her really well and I am devastated to hear this awful news.”

The 22-year-old ended up with a 2:1 in Business Management Accounting and Finance BA Hons degree at the Ipswich Road-based college in 2016.

James Gardiner, business, leadership and humanities degrees academic leader at City College Norwich, has described her as a “bright, hard-working student, with a real passion for finance and accounting”.

He added: “She was a lovely person, very friendly, who got on well with her peers whom she was always happy to help with maths-related problems.” Miss Ljevleva also went to Ormiston Venture Academy in Gorleston, where she completed her GCSEs.

A spokesman for the Oriel Avenue-based academy said staff were shocked and saddened, adding: “Viktorija attended Ormiston Venture Academy from 2007 to 2011 and was a lovely, conscientious and caring student. Viktorija will be missed and our thoughts are with her family.”

Writing on her Linkedin page, Miss Ljevleva described how she was a “bright and talented” graduate who was looking for a permanent finance/accounts position at a company that could offer training.

Miss Ljevleva, who was originally from Latvia but lived in Oldham, was due to start a new job as an accountant in Coventry, according to a donation page set up in her memory to help fund funeral costs and support her family.

Three men have appeared in court charged with the manslaughter of five people following an explosion in Leicester.

Arkan Ali, 37, from Oldham, Hawkar Hassan, 32, whose address has been given as St John’s Terrace, Great Yarmouth, and Aram Kurd, 33, from Leicester were charged with manslaughter and arson following an explosion at a supermarket on February 25.

Four of the victims have been named as Shane Rajoobeer, 18, Sean Rajoobeer, 17, Leah Beth Reek, 18, who was Shane’s girlfriend, and Viktorija Ljevleva, 22. The fifth is believed to be Shane and Sean’s 46-year-old mother Mary.

The trio appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court yesterday although no pleas were entered. They will next appear at Leicester Crown Court on April 3.

A man in his 40s from East Anglia was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of manslaughter - the sixth person to have been arrested in connection with the explosion - has been released under investigation. Two other men, also from East Anglia, have also been arrested but released under investigation.

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