American students will pay tribute to victims of Leicester explosion



The explosion has taken the lives of five people. (Photo: No reproduction without consent of Jason Senior/Redpix)


Students at an American university will pay tribute to the victims of an explosion that took place in Leicester last month.

Five people lost their lives after a large explosion ripped through a shop and flat in Hinckley Road last Sunday evening.

Shane Ragoobeer, 18, and brother Sean, 17, both died in the tragedy while mother Mary, 46, is also believed to have lost her life. Leah Beth Reek, 18, who was Shane’s girlfriend, has been confirmed as another victim. Viktorija Ijevleva, 22, of Oldham, is also one of the deceased.

Students and staff of Bloomsburg University, Pennsylvania, will come together on university grounds at 12.45pm local time (7.45pm GMT) on Monday to commemorate the victims’ lives and reach out to the families affected.

The gathering will give people the opportunity to say their prayers, release balloons and write support messages on t-shirts that will be sent to English Martyrs Catholic School – where Shane and Sean studied.


The Quad at Bloomsburg University, where the event will take place. Source | Wikipedia.

Footage from the gathering will be compiled as a support video for those affected by the explosion. Those attending will hold aloft a banner saying ‘Leicester Stay Strong’ as well as posters with the names of the victims. The song ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ will play in the background due to Shane’s connection with Liverpool Football Club.

Geoffery Gulzar is studying BA Sports Coaching at Bloomsburg but grew up in Leicester, and helped create the ‘Leicester Stay Strong’ initiative. Mr Gulzar, 19, went to school with the Ragoobeer brothers and thought it right to honour them.

“I did not personally know the family, but I knew of Shane and Sean through attending the same secondary school,” he said. “Shane was in the year below me and Sean was in the same year as my younger sister and cousin.

“Losing a family member is never easy but, in circumstances such as these, it makes it just that little bit harder. Together, as a community, we can get through this dark time by supporting each other and looking out for one another.”

Olivia Hallie, 21, has played an important role in creating and organising the event after the news was brought to her attention last Wednesday.

“We wanted to help in some way to show our compassion even from an ocean away. Our main goal is to make this family and community feel a little brightness during this dark time.”

If you would like more information regarding the event then like the ‘Leicester Stay Strong’ page on Facebook. You can also support the families by donating on GoFundMe.

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