The bodies of two men found in a burnt flat at the weekend have been identified as two French exchange students studying at Imperial. Police have launched a double murder inquiry after the London Fire Brigade was called to the flat in Sterling Gardens on Sunday evening. The students, Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez, graduated from colleges associated with France's top École Polytechnique, and had been undertaking research in Life Sciences since May as part of Imperial's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme.
The police have described 'horrendous injuries' which occured before the flat was set on fire: the Daily Mail is reporting that arsonists had hurled firebombs through a window of the flat. Detective Chief Inspector Mick Duthie of the Metropolitan Police said: "I am appealing for anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious near the address, to get in touch.
'I am particularly keen to hear from anyone who may have seen anyone near the premises around 9.30pm on Sunday."
In a message to staff and students, new Rector Sir Roy Anderson said:
"Our immediate thoughts are with their families. Laurent and Gabriel had bright futures ahead of them and it is dreadful that their lives should end so soon.
I would also like to offer my support to the Imperial community as we mourn the loss of two young members. We offer our sympathies to those who knew and worked with Laurent and Gabriel; we are thinking of you during this very difficult time."
Anyone affected by the events described in this article can contact Imperial College Union for advice and guidance, using the following details:
- Nigel Cooke, Student Adviser:(020) 7594 8067 (x48067)
- Kirsty Patterson, Deputy President (Education & Welfare): (020) 7594 8060 (x58064)