A MAN is tonight (Monday, January 28) fighting for his life after he suffered multiple stab wounds when a fight broke out at a leisure centre.

The 22-year-old man was flown to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle after violence broke out at Belle Vue Leisure Centre, in Consett, County Durham, today.

The first report of the incident was made at 2.20pm, when two men were said to be fighting in the Lifestyle Fitness Gym, at the centre, in Ashdale Road.

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Other users were evacuated and the immediate vicinity was cordoned off, including nearby Medomsley Road, with motorists asked to take alternative routes travelling to and from the town centre.

Durham Police said the victim, who is from the Consett area, suffered life-threatening injuries.

Consett’s Acting Neighbourhood Inspector Chris Davis said: “It is very early in the investigation at this stage but what I can say is that there has been an incident in the sports centre where a male has been injured. He has been taken to hospital in a very serious condition.

“The person responsible has been arrested and is in custody.”

A 20-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident and was taken to Durham City Police Station for questioning.

Police confirmed that those involved in the incident were not members of staff.

Insp Davis added: “The victim’s injuries have been described as life-threatening by paramedics.

“His family is aware and the centre has been closed so we can do our necessary investigations. After that it will be business as usual.

“The leisure centre staff were obviously very shocked by what has gone on.”

The centre is operated by Leisureworks, a trust which oversees sporting and entertainment facilities in the former Derwentside area.

Acting business development and marketing manager Nicola Dailly said: “Following the incident at Belle Vue Leisure Centre earlier today, this is now a police matter and we are unable to make comment.”

The leisure centre is expected to be closed until at least 8pm tonight, but Ms Dailly said the trust will be updating its website with information for customers.