Man arrested after two found dead in Belfast flat

23 December 2019, 18:01 | Updated: 23 December 2019, 19:51

Police have launched a major operation after the pair were found dead
Police have launched a major operation after the pair were found dead. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Detectives have arrested a man in Belfast after two people were found dead in a flat and several nearby homes have been evacuated.

The 35-year-old suspect has been taken to Musgrave Police Station for questioning while a major investigation continues.

The bodies of a man and a woman were discovered in an apartment in the Kinnaird Close area of the city on Monday afternoon.

Several nearby homes have been evacuated amid a major police operation in the area.

Early signs suggest that the incident was a stabbing, but police have not confirmed any further details, insisting the investigation was at an extremely early stage.

The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery, said: "At around 12.55pm police received a report from a member of the public that the bodies of two people had been discovered in a flat in the area.

"The circumstances of the deaths will now be subject to investigation and post-mortem examinations will take place in due course."

The incident is believed to have taken place in the Kinnaird Close area of Belfast
The incident is believed to have taken place in the Kinnaird Close area of Belfast. Picture: PA Images

Police forensic officers were examining the scene of the incident through Monday afternoon while a PSNI helicopter was also circling above the area at intervals throughout the day.

Councillor Paul McCusker said he believed police had been pursuing one male in connection with the deaths.

"Just a few days before Christmas this is the worst kind of news for any family," the SDLP politician said.

"Within the local community there is anger and sadness."

Mr McCusker said the dead couple were both "characters" and well known in the area.

"At this stage it would not be appropriate to elaborate further on the circumstances as our inquiries are at an extremely early stage."

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said it received a 999 call shortly after 1pm.

"Following assessment and initial treatment at the scene, no one was transferred to hospital," the NIAS said in a statement.

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