Suspicions were raised yesterday that a man found dead from suspected noxious gas poisoning in Co Fermanagh had been living in an out-building next to a Chinese restaurant.
Little is known about the man, who was found dead in Irvinestown on Wednesday, other than he is of Chinese-Malay origin and aged in his early 20s.
Even his name was something of a mystery as members of the local Chinese community declined to identify him, raising suspicions he may have been in the country illegally.
He had recently moved to the area and Chinese friends who came to pay their respects yesterday said they had only known him a few weeks.
They said they did not want to give the name they knew him by in case it was wrong, or would be reported to his family, who are thought to live in Malaysia. It is believed the man was |employed at the recently-opened China Star restaurant and |takeaway in Irvinestown’s Main Street.
He was found close to a food store at the back of the restaurant where a petrol generator was in operation.
It is thought the restaurant had been without power since Monday and had been using the generator to run freezers.
It was unclear yesterday whether the man had been overcome by fumes as he collected items from the store, or whether he had been living there.
A PSNI spokesman said he could not comment on where the man was living.
It is possible the man began to choke on the fumes and, realising they were taking hold, attempted to escape into the open air.
People in the Fermanagh town yesterday said the Chinese owners and employees were not very well known.
A traditional Chinese blessing was carried out by three friends who visited the scene yesterday.
The PSNI said the man’s cause of death would not be confirmed until a post-mortem examination — expected to be carried out today — had been completed.