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Teenager, Tom McNeill, dies after a fall from Bulgarian balcony


A teenager from Carlisle has died on holiday in Bulgaria after reportedly falling from a balcony.

Tom McNeill, 17, died at the resort of Sunny Beach on Sunday. On holiday with his best friend's family, this was his first vacation without his own mother, father and brother.

Whilst details of his death are unconfirmed, Tom's family said they had been told he had fallen from a balcony while sunbathing. It is possible he had been lying on the balcony's wide outer wall and had rolled over the wrong way, perhaps after falling asleep.

The family, who plan to leave for Bulgaria as soon as possible, said Tom had rung home the day before he died to wish his brother Jack a happy 15th birthday and tell everyone about his "amazing" holiday.

Tom was the elder son of David and Sallie McNeill, who run Carlisle-based Staged Right Productions and Youth Theatre.

In a statement, the family said: "Tom is the salt of the earth; a charming, mature and loving boy who always put family first. He was the most wonderful and loved son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, boyfriend and friend.

"Tom touched everyone he met in a quiet, unassuming way and he had such a vision of what he wanted and where he wanted to go in life. Tom has left a hole in our lives that we cannot ever imagine will heal but he is with us in all we do. We love him so much."

The Foreign Office has confirmed the death of a British National in Bulgaria on 24 July 2011. "We are providing consular assistance to the family at this difficult time," said a spokesperson.

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Dated: 28/07/2011


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