A murder investigation was continuing today after a man was stabbed to death 'inside a flat.' Senior detectives at Greater Manchester Police said officers and emergency services personnel attended the scene after 999 calls reporting a man 'unconscious' inside.

The 49-year-old was subsequently found with what police described as a 'serious injury'. He was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later despite the best efforts of the emergency services. A major public appeal for information has since been issued.

Detectives said they believe the man, who hasn't been named, was stabbed. A 22-year-old man has since been arrested in suspicion of murder and remains in police custody, GMP confirmed on Saturday.

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Neighbours in the Atherton area of Wigan, meanwhile, have spoken of their shock as the murder inquiry was launched.

Emergency services were called to Samuel Street, near Hindsford between the Atherton and Tyldesley areas of Wigan, just after 6pm on Friday night. The street, on an estate, is a mixture of terraced housing and flats, with a witness saying the 'whole block' was cordoned off for 'forensics' at the time.

Police stood guard at the scene on Saturday morning, but the cordon had been lifted. Investigations focused on just one flat in the complex.

One source claimed the man involved was attacked inside the flat, but that wasn't confirmed by force detectives. The Manchester Evening News understands the man used to live in the block, but had since moved address.

Officers at the flat

Residents said police arrived just after 6pm and the man's body was taken away in a private ambulance just before midnight ahead of a post-mortem examination.

One said they knew the deceased and were on first name terms with him. They said: "Sometimes he would walk past and he would let on." Another resident said: "I feel sorry for the paramedics. Where something happens in these flats we get a bad name. It’s not all that bad.

"We were out here at the time. We didn’t hear anything. All we knew was there was loads of police coming up the street. We were like, 'what’s going on?'"

A GMP spokesman said: "At around 6.08pm yesterday evening, Friday, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) were called to reports of a man unconscious at a property on Samuel Street in Atherton.

"Officers attended and found a 49-year-old man with a serious injury. Despite best efforts of the emergency services, he tragically passed away a short time later. GMP's Major Incident Team is heading up the investigation and enquiries are ongoing."

Detectives urged anyone with CCTV, mobile phone, Ring doorbell or dashcam footage to come forward.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Higginson said police patrols have been stepped up. He said: "The thoughts of the entire investigation team remain with the victim's family at this time. We are committed to getting answers for them and establishing what occurred.

"I understand people will be concerned when they hear of news of what has happened, but I would like to reassure you that we have a number of additional resources deployed to identifying the person responsible.

"We are treating this as a murder investigation and it is believed that the man was stabbed. We are carrying out multiple lines of enquiry and are also appealing to anyone with information about this incident to make a report to police."

DCI Higginson added: "You can make a report by calling 101, quoting 2727 of 17/11/2023. Alternatively, you can make a report anonymously by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."