A murder-style inquiry is under way after a man died after an incident at a busy nightclub in Durham early today.
Police were called to Loveshack in the Walkergate area of the city shortly after 1am, after reports of a disturbance inside the premises involving a number of people.
When officers arrived it was found doorstaff had detained two men and escorted them outside.
However, shortly afterwards it became clear one of the men was in distress and having difficulty with regards to his health.
Together with paramedics, the officers administered immediate first aid for a period of time until the man was taken by ambulance to the University Hospital of North Durham.
However, the condition of the 54-year- old man deteriorated and a few hours after he was admitted to hospital he died.
A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out later today to establish a formal cause of death.
The victim, who is from Hetton-le- Hole, is not being formally identified at this stage.
Police have arrested a total of seven men on suspicion of manslaughter and one other for a public order offence.
The eight are in custody at three separate police stations in the county.
Detective Superintendent Lee Johnson said: “An incident room has been set up and I am appealing for anyone who saw what happened to come forward.
"As part of our enquiries we will also be studying CCTV from the cameras both inside and outside the club itself.
“We are in the early stages of our inquiries and trying to build up a complete picture of what led to the initial disturbance and then the events which happened outside.
"I would urge anyone who can assist to contact police via 101.”