A MAN suspected of being trafficked into the UK has died after he was locked in a fire-hit cannabis factory in Brierley Hill.

Two men were rescued from a fire in an industrial unit at Premier Trading Estate at around 7.30pm on Thursday (June 4).

Both were taken to hospital, where one of the men - aged in his 20s - was later discharged.

The other man, aged 43, died on Friday afternoon (June 5).

A post-mortem is set to take place to establish his cause of death.

Police believe both of the men had been trafficked into the UK from abroad and were being held against their will.

The unit in Leys Road was being used to grow cannabis and was locked, meaning the men had no way of escaping the fire.

Police are working with fire crews to establish the cause of the fire and the scene is currently being held for forensic analysis as searches continue over the next few days.

Detective Inspector Jim Mahon, from West Midlands Police CID, said: “A man has sadly died and we’re working to establish the full circumstances of what happened.

“We are urgently appealing for anyone with information about who is involved in exploiting these men, and involved in the set up to contact us.

“We know there was a drone flying over the unit when the fire first broke out, so we are appealing to the owner of the drone to contact us directly, as the footage recorded may hold vital information in our investigation.

“In order to make the site safe and to recover vital evidence, we have had to suspend power to the trading estate. I want to thank anyone affected by this power outage for their co-operation.”

Anyone with footage or any information that could help police with their investigation is urged to call 101 or make contact using the live chat on the West Midlands Police website, quoting crime number 3969.

Superintendent Jason Anderson, of Dudley Neighbourhood Policing Unit, said: “Our thoughts are with the family of the man who has tragically lost his life in these awful circumstances. We will be supporting detectives leading this enquiry anyway we can.

“A cannabis factory was discovered at the unit and we now believe these vulnerable men were trafficked into the UK and criminally exploited.

“We understand the concerns and harm that drugs cause in our communities and we continue to work tirelessly with partners to prevent organised criminality and the exploitation of vulnerable people in this way.”