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Man and woman are found dead inside car at country park in Dorset as police launch investigation 

A man in his 50s and a woman in her 40s have been found dead inside a black Range Rover this morning at an idyllic country park.

The casualties were discovered in an unresponsive state by passers-by at Durlston Country Park, near Swanage in Dorset.

The bodies were covered by a green tarpaulin in the back seat of the car, according to witnesses. 

The emergency services rushed to the coastal location but the pair were pronounced dead at the scene.

The coroner has been informed of the deaths and police are now working to identify them. 

The initial 999 call was made at around 8.15 on Monday morning.

The fire service was first at the scene and called police to also attend. 

The glass in the window’s behind the driver’s seat was smashed, an indication of the action taken by firefighters to get into the vehicle.

The road leading to the country park has been closed by police, with a cordon in place.  

Residents have spoken of their shock after the bodies were discovered.

Steve McWilliams, who runs a nearby holiday apartments, said: ‘We saw the helicopters fly overhead this morning and heard the sirens.

‘I believe the helicopter landed in the car park. It is quite an isolated area.

‘It is a horrible, shocking discovery and my thoughts are with the families.’

One man, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘I didn’t hear a thing until about 8am this morning.

‘Then there were a load of police sirens and ambulances going past my front door.

‘When I heard that two people had died I couldn’t believe it.

‘The police have shut the road and have been around all day. My heart just goes out to the families involved.’ 

A Dorset Police spokesperson said: ‘We were called at 8.17am on Monday 3 August 2020 by the fire service to reports two people had been found unresponsive in a car parked at Durlston County Park on Lighthouse Road, Swanage.

‘Officers have attended the incident, along with the ambulance service.

‘The road leading to the country park has been closed and a cordon is in place.

‘Very sadly the body of a woman aged in her 40s and a man aged in his 50s were found inside the vehicle.

‘Their next of kin have yet to be informed.

‘Enquiries are underway to establish the circumstances of the deaths, which are not being treated as suspicious.

‘The coroner has been informed.’

A Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: ‘Two fire engines from Swanage were called to Durlston Country Park this morning at 8.05am, by colleagues from South Western Ambulance Service.

‘Two individuals had been found unresponsive in a vehicle. Firefighters, paramedics and police officers attended the incident. The stop message was received at 10.04am, but firefighters remain on scene supporting other agencies.’

The 320-acre Durlston Country Park stretches along the coast of the Isle of Purbeck at Durlston, near Swanage.

It is part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and has been owned by Dorset County Council since the early 1970s

A spokesman for Durlston County Park said: ‘Due to circumstances out of our control, the car parks, castle and cafe are closed for today.’ 

If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org 

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