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Man found dead next to burning tent under railway arches

Published 20/01/2016

An investigation is under way to establish how the tent fire started
An investigation is under way to establish how the tent fire started

A man believed to have been homeless has been found dead next to a burning tent.

He was found when fire crews were called to a railway arch in Irwell Street, Salford, Greater Manchester, in the early hours of Wednesday.

The scene, close to Salford Central railway station, was cordoned off for forensic investigations.

One building site worker close to where the body was found said he had seen homeless people sleeping rough under the railway arches.

He said: "I don't know who found him, I didn't know the chap. He was homeless, living under the bridge. I saw about three (homeless people) going in."

Another worker said: "I've seen all the police here this morning but I know nothing about it. They were there about 6am this morning when we arrived."

Forensic officers could be seen taking pictures inside the secluded archway as police manned the entrance.

A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police said: "We were called at around 1.20am to Irwell Street, Salford, to reports that a tent was on fire under a railway bridge.

"We recovered a man's body next to a tent. We don't know the cause of the fire yet but investigations are ongoing."

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service confirmed they were called to the railway arches at the junction of Irwell Street and Trinity Way.

Two fire engines from Manchester Central station were called to the scene at 1.18am and used a hose to put out the fire.

One homeless man, David Palmer, 37, said he believed the victim was a middle-aged man called Lawrence who had been beaten up before being set alight.

He said: "I heard that kids beat him up and set him on fire. I was going to go there last night, it could have been me."

He added that people who were rough sleepers sought shelter underneath the arches "to keep warm".

Greater Manchester Police were unable to verify Mr Palmer's claims.

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