A MURDER investigation has been launched after a man was found dead at a Chinese takeaway in the centre of a New Forest village.

Emergency services descended on China Chef in Brookley Road, Brockenhurst yesterday afternoon following reports of the incident.

A 34-year-old man has been arrested by police on suspicion of murder and he has been taken into police custody.

A large police presence is at the scene. The pavenment outside China Chef has been cordoned off and and a forensics team is inside the takeaway.

Ambulance crews were also in attendance following initial calls for medical assistance.

Officers have been seen in forensic suits entering the establishment to gather evidence and examine the scene.

Police vehicles lined the stretch of the village’s shopping area.

The road remains open, but the pavement outside the takeaway is cordoned off.

No details were released about the victim, other than that he was a man.

Police confirmed inquiries are ongoing and the cause of death is not known.

Hampshire Constabulary said: “Just after 1pm on Monday, August 20, officers were called to a man in need of medical assistance at an address on Brookley Road, Brockenhurst. The man died at the scene.

“The cause of death is not known at this time and an investigation is ongoing.

“A 34-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently in police custody. Inquiries are ongoing.”

South Central Ambulance Service sent an ambulance and two rapid response vehicles to the incident.

A resident who works nearby and asked to remain anonymous said: “We didn’t hear anything. Police just arrived. We have seen somebody being led away but we don’t know who he was.

"He was handcuffed and he had police officers either side of him.

“This is a massive shock for Brockenhurst. These sort of things don’t happen here. This is a small, quiet village.”

Local residents said they were woken by people shouting in the early hours of yesterday.

Sarah Fitzgerald, 54, from Sway, is the owner of Beyond the Skin Handbag in Brookley Road.

She added: “Residents heard shouts at about 6.30am this morning.

"One of my staff members heard people shouting between 9am and 10am but we couldn’t hear any words.

"It sounded like an argument but it didn’t sound threatening. Nobody worried about it. Nobody felt like we should do anything.

"It was just someone having an argument. Nobody felt alarmed until the police arrived.”