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Man collapses and dies in Belfast health club

By David Young

Published 31/07/2015

Police officers stand outside Pipeworks in Belfast’s Union Street where a body was found inside
Police officers stand outside Pipeworks in Belfast’s Union Street where a body was found inside
Police officers stand outside Pipeworks in Belfast’s Union Street where a body was found inside
A forensics officer leaves the leisure club with a bag of evidence

Armed police sealed off a city centre street last night after a 59-year-old man was found dead in a men's health club.

Scene of crime officers were seen entering The Pipeworks men's health and leisure club in Union Street, Belfast, which is popular with the city's gay community.

Five uniformed constables, one carrying a sub machine-gun, stood guard on the pavement outside the premises as the investigation into the man's death got under way inside the building.

Five police vehicles - four of them unmarked, and the fifth a Land Rover - lined the narrow street in the heart of Belfast's burgeoning gay quarter.

An ambulance was called to the Union Street premises at 4.30pm yesterday, following a report that a man had collapsed inside.

However, ambulance crew medics were not able to revive him.

Unconfirmed reports suggested that the man had been found in a sauna in the club.

CID officers were on the scene wearing forensics suits as they searched the building for clues as to the circumstances of the man's death.

In a statement, a PSNI spokesman said last night: "Police are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a man, aged in his 50s, in the Union Street area of north Belfast.

"At this time there are no further details."

The dead man's name has not been made public by the authorities.

The Travel Gay Europe website describes The Pipeworks as "the oldest and best gay sauna and spa in Belfast, popular with locals and tourists".

"Facilities at The Pipeworks include a sauna, jacuzzi, steam room, video room and coffee lounge," according to the website.

Detective Inspector Joanne Harris confirmed that, following a post-mortem examination,  the death is not being treated suspicious.

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