A body has been found on the Metro line near Sunderland just hours after police were called to reports of a trespasser but couldn’t find anyone.

Police were first called to Fellgate station, on the green Metro line between Pelaw and Sunderland on Monday (January 22) night at about 6pm after reports of someone trespassing on the line.

The British Transport Police (BTP) say officers “conducted a thorough search of the area” but no one was found.

But this morning (January 23) at about 8.30am police were called back to the area after reports a body had been found near the tracks.

Paramedics attended but the person was pronounced dead at the scene.

The incident is currently being treated as unexplained and enquiries are ongoing. The BTP said it was consulting with the police watchdog the IOPC after the incidents.

The Metro was suspended for several hours while police worked on the tracks and in the area.

Services resumed and Fellgate station reopened shortly after 1pm.

A BTP spokesperson said: “On January 22, British Transport Police (BTP) were called to Fellgate metro station at around 6.20pm following reports of a trespasser on the railway line. Officers attended and conducted a thorough search of the area, however no one was located.

"Just after 8.30am today (January 23) officers were called to the area following reports of a body near the railway line. Paramedics also attended however sadly a person was pronounced dead at the scene.

“The incident is being treated as unexplained and BTP is currently working to establish the full circumstances. BTP are in consultation with the IOPC following the incidents.

The Northern Echo has contacted the IOPC for comment.

A spokesperson for Nexus, which runs the Metro, said: “Metro services were suspended on the Sunderland line on Tuesday morning, 23 January, after reports of a casualty next to the tracks near Fellgate at around 8.30am.

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“Emergency services including the police and the North East Ambulance Service were called to deal with the incident.

“Customers were able to use Metro tickets on local bus routes in the affected area.

“The line was fully re-opened by 1.30pm.”