Two bodies found after fire in Manchester Chinatown

The blaze broke out in the early hours of last night

Two bodies have been discovered in a disused building in Chinatown after a large fire broke out at around 2.15am this morning. The fire started in a building on Nicholas Street and at its peak lit up the Chinatown arch.

Details of the two bodies found including their age and gender are currently unknown. Police are investigating the possibility that they were rough sleepers using the multi-storey commercial building as shelter.

The fire was brought under control this morning but the building is said  by fire chiefs to be severely damaged and an unsafe structure. Due to falling debris and damaged staircases, firefighters were forced to keep back from the building until 10.10am this morning when a search and rescue dog was sent in.

The bodies were found on the first floor of the building and there is an ongoing systematic search to make sure no-one else is in the building. The building has been unoccupied for some time, and is said to have large areas which have suffered a partial collapse.

Police and charities are urging homeless people to seek safety through organised means to avoid sleeping in dangerous places such as this building.

Roads were shut this morning due to the fire and there was serious congestion in the city centre, but roads have since reopened.