A MURDER investigation has been launched after a man was found dead in a New Forest village.

Emergency services rushed to Brockenhurst yesterday and cordoned off the area outside the Chinese takeaway China Chef in Brookley Road.

Hampshire police confirmed they were called to help a man in need of medical assistance, but that he died at the scene.

A 34-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Residents were left in shock and said police officers and ambulance crews arrived to the scene shortly after 1.30pm, while an air ambulance helicopter was seen hovering over the village.

Residents said several police officers and paramedics ran inside the flat above the takeaway and the area outside the property was cordoned off.

A forensics team was seen searching in bins at the back of the property and inside the takeaway.

A resident who works in Brookley Road, but did not want to be named, said: “We have seen somebody being led away but we don’t know who he was. He had blood on him. He was handcuffed and he had police officers either side of him. He got into an ambulance. This is a massive shock for Brockenhurst. This is a small, quite village.The community is shocked.”

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.”

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

Police confirmed enquiries are ongoing.

A spokesman for 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.

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

Residents said the takeaway opened more than 10 years ago and was very popular within the Chinese community.