Coroner to examine case of Nottingham man Darren Blair who died in Vietnam

An inquest has been opened into the death of a Nottingham man who died in Vietnam while on holiday. Darren Edward Blair, 31 and from Bakersfield, died at a hospital in Hanoi City, the capital of Vietnam.

He died after being in a bar on September 26, 2023, and a post-mortem examination has been carried out. A provisional cause of death has been proposed, but not released publicly, and will be ascertained at the final inquest hearing due to take place at a date yet to be fixed.

The coronial investigation was opened on Tuesday, May 28, at Nottingham Council House by assistant coroner for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Amanda Bewley. She said: "I'd like to take this opportunity to wish my sincere condolences to the friends and family for the shock of losing Mr Blair in such tragic circumstances."

Darren's body was repatriated after a public fundraiser was launched, with the costs estimated at around £50,000. He had a prominent career in performing, having worked for the worldwide Disney on Ice Tour.

He had just finished working in Japan and was taking a break in Vietnam between shows when the tragedy occurred. The family was given two different versions regarding how Darren came by his death.

The first one describes how Darren was wearing two earrings and a gold chain when he went out that evening, however, the chain and one of the earrings were missing when his family arrived in Hanoi. Family members previously said they were told Darren had passed away at 5.30am on the Tuesday morning, having apparently been found unconscious but breathing outside a nightclub - before eventually being pronounced dead in hospital.

A day later, the family said they'd been told a different story by the Embassy of Vietnam in London, who reportedly said that Darren had fallen asleep on a sofa in the nightclub and that staff only decided to try and wake him six hours later. Emergency services then reportedly took him to hospital and, in this version of events, he is said to have died at 6.40am.