AN inquest has opened into the death of a woman who fell from a metal staircase in a County Durham market town.

Hayley Clarke died after falling from the stairs of a building at the rear of Newgate Street, in Bishop Auckland, on the evening of Saturday, March 24.

Crook Coroner’s Court yesterday heard the 29-year-old single woman was born in the town but lived in Spennymoor.

Coroner’s officer Dawn Carter said: “We know she had been out that night and she climbed a set of staircases and has fallen to the ground.”

CCTV captured part of the incident.

The officer said a post-mortem revealed the cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries including spine and rib fractures.

Senior coroner for County Durham and Darlington, Jeremy Chipperfield, told Ms Clarke’s three family members who were present an investigation would follow and evidence would be gathered.

At the time of the incident medics from the Great North Air Ambulance Service, which landed on the field of Bishop Auckland Cricket Club, treated Ms Clarke, but she died at the scene.

It happened at about 5.45pm - just as premises in the town centre were shutting, so members of the public became aware of the tragedy.

The inquest will resume on Thursday, July 19.