CRIME scene investigators have spent two days searching for human remains on board a burned-out boat in Oxford.

Officers yesterday said they still did not know whether anyone was on the boat when the fire broke out on Friday night.

Officers were called at around 11pm to the wrecked barge on a stretch of canal near the Wolvercote Mill Stream.

Fire crews have confirmed they were not called while the blaze was ongoing, and police announced on Sunday they were looking for a body.

Speaking yesterday, Inspector Andy West said: “We’re trying to ascertain from the remains of the barge whether anyone was on it at the time of the fire. We have got specialist resources from both the police and medical worlds working at the moment.”

Onlookers reported seeing officers swarming around the scene, in remote countryside just outside Oxford near the A34 bypass, and a tent was also seen.

Detective chief inspector Andy Bird, leading the investigation, said: “We are currently working closely with the fire service to establish the full circumstances surrounding how the fire happened.

“I would like to urge anyone who might have seen what happened or has information to help us with our enquiries and has not yet spoken to a police officer to come forward.”

Anyone with information can call 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.