Body of girl (17) found in Belfast hospital grounds is linked to east Belfast crash
Police are investigating the unexplained death of a 17-year-old girl found in the grounds of Belfast City Hospital early yesterday morning.
They are linking the teenager's death to a car crash in Castlereagh 25 minutes earlier.
In the single-vehicle crash, a silver Mercedes was found on its roof near the roundabout at Ballygowan Road close to the junction with Manse Road, at around 2.30am.
A man found injured after the crash was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast for emergency treatment.
Shortly afterwards at around 3am, the Ambulance Service reported finding a teenage girl lying on the ground next to a grey MG car in the grounds of City Hospital in the Lisburn Road area of south Belfast.
Attempts were made to resuscitate the teenager, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Her name has not yet been made public.
The grim discovery sparked a major police operation.
An area around the nearby Dunluce Avenue was cordoned off for a time yesterday.
Chief Inspector Michael Gregg said: "Our investigation is at an early stage.
"However, we believe there is a link between the collision on Ballygowan Road in the vicinity of its junction with Manse Road, and the discovery of the teenager's body.
"I have a number of appeals to make this evening. Were you in the Manse Road area/general Ballygowan area between 1am and 2.30am on Sunday morning?
"Did you see a car matching the description of the silver Mercedes?
"Did you witness the collision? Did you see any other vehicles in the time after the collision, including a grey MG?
"If you were on the road at these times, please think back to what you may have seen.
"It's important we can track the movement of the vehicle involved to help us establish what happened.
"I also want to appeal to anyone who was in the Belfast City Hospital/Lisburn Road area of the city this morning and saw a grey MG to please call us.
"We need to know how this young girl was brought to the hospital, by whom and from where. If you have information about the collision, or the circumstances surrounding the death of this young girl which you believe could assist our investigation, please pick up the phone and call us on the non-emergency number 101.
"I would also urge anyone who may have captured footage of the collision on Manse Road, or of a grey MG in the area of the City Hospital, to call us."
Chief Inspector Gregg added: "Alternatively, information can also be provided by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."
Seven people from Northern Ireland have died in separate incidents on the roads both here and in the Republic in the past 11 days.
Six men and one woman have lost their lives since March 14 in different collisions, and now the 17-year-old girl's death is being linked by police to the crash in the early hours of yesterday.
If confirmed, that means six of the recent fatalities occurred on this side of the border, bringing to 14 the number who have been killed on Northern Ireland's roads so far this year.
The other two deaths, of Co Down men Shane McAnallen and Martin Patterson, happened on the Cooley Peninsula, Co Louth.