Murder probe in Sunningdale after van stopped by police

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Media captionOne man died after being found injured inside the van

A murder inquiry has started after a man died soon after armed police chased and stopped a van in Berkshire.

The man died in London Road, Sunningdale, near Ascot, after being found inside the van which was stopped by officers at about 1400 GMT.

Four other men inside the van, who attempted to escape, were arrested on suspicion of murder.

Thames Valley Police said officers had been looking for the vehicle after receiving a tip off.

Witnesses said a man's body was covered in tarpaulin by the A30, near its junction with Cedar Drive.

The large blue sheet could be seen on the ground next to a white Mercedes Sprinter van.

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Media captionEyewitness Pauline Hollidge: "At first we thought it was a small misdemeanour"

Supt Richard Humphrey, of Thames Valley Police, said no shots were fired during the incident and the injured man was only found when a thorough search of the van had been carried out.

He said: "There were four occupants in the vehicle who attempted to run off. Three were detained in the immediate vicinity of the van and the fourth was arrested after a more extensive search.

"The officers returned to the van that had been stopped and then made a search of the vehicle.

"They found a seriously injured man within and immediately commenced first aid and called an ambulance.

"Despite the efforts of the officers and of the paramedics this man has now died."

'Pretty scared'

An eyewitness said he saw a man run past the window of his shop and minutes later an armed police response unit arrived.

Ilda Divico, who works nearby, said: "One of them was face down in front of my front door with a gun in his face.

"Another one went running off in one direction and they were all then cuffed and caught and put on the floor for at least 45 minutes before they even realised there was a body in the back of a van, which was hidden in a white cement sack, a big sandbag."

Courtney Craig, 22, a waitress at Fego Caffe, said: "There was quite a few people gathering around when the helicopter landed and lots of police.

"Everyone was pretty scared."

David Redding-Lang, 52, landlord of the Sunningdale Lounge, saw the drama unfold outside the pub.

He said: "I was up in the office and I noticed a van being pulled to the side of the road by a patrol car.

"I thought it was just a minor offence, the van was a bit shabby.

"The next time I turned I saw the police chasing someone down the road.

"There were three other men on the ground. I later saw the police bring back the fourth man."

He added: "I could see a body underneath the van... the person had no shoes on and was very still."

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