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Mystery surrounds the death of Irish student found by road in Spain

POLICE are investigating the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of an Irish student in Spain.

The body of Shane O'Connor (21), an Erasmus exchange student, was found under a motorway bridge near the University of Zaragoza, which he attended.

His remains were discovered a short distance from that of a 19-year-old Spanish man who is understood to have been killed in a traffic accident.

Local police are trying to determine if the two deaths are linked, and believe at this stage that Shane, from Co Cork, may have tried to help the Spaniard before falling from the bridge.

The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed this morning to the Herald that they were providing assistance to the family of the young man.

The local police were called to the scene yesterday morning shortly after 7am after the Spanish teenager was struck by several vehicles.

At 8am, police received a call alerting them that there was a lifeless body under the six metre high bridge, 50 metres away from where the first young man was discovered.

The two bodies were found near tents from a music festival called the Fiestas del Pilar.

"An investigation is underway to establish how the two men died and if their deaths are linked," a police spokeswoman said.

"It's possible the 21-year-old was rushing to help the Spaniard who was run over and accidentally fell over the bridge

"They may have been friends. All this will be determined by the investigation which is in very early stages."

Both bodies were taken for post mortem examinations.

The University of Zaragoza paid tribute to the Irish student yesterday at the Pedro Cerbuna university residence where Shane had been living.

"All the students have been badly affected here by this tragedy. He was nice and everyone got on with him," said residence director Jose Luis Muzquiz.

Friends of the young man changed their Facebook profile pictures to black ribbons to pay their respects.

A memorial event has been organised in memory of the Irish rugby fan on Monday.

hnews@herald.ie