Three charged over cocklers tragedy

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The Independent Online

Three people were due to appear in court today charged over the Morecambe Bay tragedy which claimed the lives of 21 Chinese cocklers, Lancashire Police said.

Three people were due to appear in court today charged over the Morecambe Bay tragedy which claimed the lives of 21 Chinese cocklers, Lancashire Police said.

The two Chinese men and a woman have been charged with various offences including manslaughter, conspiracy to commit facilitation and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. They were to appear before Lancaster magistrates.

Lin Liang Ren, 27, of Lemon Street, Liverpool is charged with manslaughter, conspiracy to commit facilitation and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Zhao Qing Xiao, 19, also known as Eva, also of Lemon Street, is charged with conspiracy to commit facilitation and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Lin Mu Yong, 29, of Crete Towers, Liverpool, is charged with conspiracy of commit facilitation.

All three had been arrested earlier in the year and released on bail for further inquiries.

They were rearrested on Tuesday in the Liverpool area and questioned at police stations in Lancashire.

Detective Superintendent Mick Gradwell, leading the inquiry, said: "This does not signal the end of the investigation as a number of other people remain on police bail.

"Our inquiries into exactly what happened on the night of Thursday February 5 and events leading up to this tragedy are very much the focus of a detailed criminal investigation."

Police believe 23 people died after they became trapped by a fast-rising tide while working at Hest Bank, near Morecambe, Lancashire.

Officers have so far recovered 21 bodies.

An inquest into the deaths was opened and adjourned last week in Lancaster when the identities of the victims were announced.