Body of 17-year-old girl found near Belfast City Hospital

By Aoife Moore, Press Association

Police are investigating the death of a 17-year-old girl after her body was found near Belfast City Hospital.

Officers are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death, which they believe is linked to a car accident during the early hours of Sunday morning.

Police received a report at around 2.35am of a single-vehicle crash involving a silver Mercedes on the Ballygowan Road near the junction with Manse Road in Castlereagh.

Officers discovered the car on its roof in an undergrowth area near the roundabout and found an injured man near the scene.

Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS), which was in attendance, transported the injured man to hospital for treatment of his injuries.

The Ballygowan Road was closed for a time, but has since reopened.

Minutes later, at 2.55am, officers received a report from the ambulance service that they had located the girl on the ground next to a grey-coloured MG car in the vicinity of Belfast City Hospital on the Lisburn Road.

The girl was subsequently pronounced dead.

A post-mortem examination will be carried out in due course to establish the cause of death.

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 this morning?

Police activity in Dunluce Avenue in south Belfast (Maria Lyttle/PA)

“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.”

Police confirmed reports early on Sunday morning that they were at the scene of an ongoing incident in Belfast.

A substantial police presence could be seen on the southern side of the city near Belfast City Hospital.

An area around Dunluce Avenue had been cordoned off with police tape, with officers on the scene.

“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, quoting reference number 227 of 24/03/19. 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,” Mr Gregg added.

Alternatively, information can also be provided by calling independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.