The first arrest is made in the aftermath of Coronation Street‘s factory disaster on Wednesday 3 April when Carla Connor (Alison King) confesses she knew there was a problem with the building’s roof and could have prevented the tragic death of Rana Habeeb (Bhavna Limbachia), leading to the cops cuffing her on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter.
Since the structure caved in on the Underworld employees and buried Rana on the day she should’ve married soul mate Kate Connor (Faye Brookes), Carla has been wracked with guilt she ignored builder Gary Windass (Mikey North) when he warned her the roof was unsafe as she couldn’t afford the repairs.
At a memorial for Rana on Monday 1 April, Carla panics when health and safety inspector Wayne Hayes (Adam Barlow) has more questions about the incident. After grieving Imran Habeeb (Charlie de Melo) overhears Peter Barlow (Peter Gascoyne) asks Roy Cropper (David Neilson) to tell Wayne to go easy on Carla, the suspicious solicitor takes it as confirmation the factory boss is to blame for his sister’s untimely death.
“Surely these aren’t the things you should be saying in the middle of a very serious investigation?” wonders de Melo on his alter ego’s behalf. “There are people who seem to be acting in Carla’s interests rather than those who are directly affected and that becomes something of an obsession for Imran. He wants justice to be served and by people going easy on Carla due to her fragile state, it seems to Imran like the wrong person is being prioritised.”
Unable to live with the burden any longer, Carla blurts out at the memorial she knew there was a problem with the roof but had no idea it would collapse and cause such carnage.
The street reacts with horror at crushed Carla’s admission, despite her remorse, including Roy who is so appalled at what he hears he throws her out, and Kate who immediately reports her sister to the police leading to her arrest on Wednesday 3 April.
“When Carla comes clean Imran feels a mixture of vindication and anger,” explains de Melo. “She may not have known the extent of the damage to the roof but as far as Imran’s concerned, Carla may as well have been holding a bloody knife.”
Who reports Carla to the police?
Johnny Connor (Richard Hawley) finds himself torn between his two daughters when Kate turns on Carla, who publicly brands her a ‘murdering bitch’ after she’s released by the police – for now. Apologising to Johnny and desperate to make it up to Kate, Carla is told by her father to avoid her fragile sibling so she embarks on a rescue plan for the business hoping saving her workforce’s jobs will get the community back on side.
Unfortunately, this only angers Imran even further… “Imran hears Yasmeen has agreed to let Carla use the community centre as a temporary factory to keep production going, which to him smacks of people carrying on as if Carla’s admission didn’t happen. It’s a slap in the face.
“He feels fobbed off and doesn’t have the justice he so desperately wanted, no one else even cares about honouring Rana’s memory. It’s galling for Imran but it also strengthens his resolve to get answers around the circumstances of his sister’s death.”
Viewers know Carla may not be the one responsible for the damage and death as a mysterious hooded figure was seen sabotaging the roof the day it caved in, and while it could’ve been Mrs Connor – or someone acting on her behalf – pulling an insurance job, other suspects Gary, Peter, business partner Nick Tilsley (Ben Price), Gary’s nemesis Seb Franklin (Harry Visinoni) or Carla’s enemy Robert Preston (Tristan Gemmill) are also in the frame.
Someone on the street is definitely covering their tracks, but will Carla end up paying the price regardless of whether she’s guilty or not?