Second Durham City rugby player confirmed dead in Sri Lanka

Tom Baty, left, and Thomas Howard. The rugby players have died in Sri Lanka.
Tom Baty, left, and Thomas Howard. The rugby players have died in Sri Lanka.

A second rugby player from Durham has died after being admitted to hospital in Sri Lanka with breathing difficulties.

Tom Baty, 26, died today after being taken to hospital on Sunday.

This follows the death of teammate Thomas Howard, 25, who lost his life on Monday.

The men, who were taken to hospital with non rugby-related breathing difficulties, were on an end of season tour overseas with the Clems Pirates team, from Durham City RFC.

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A statement on the Durham City Rugby Club website said: "It is with great sadness that the Club can now confirm that Tom Baty, 26, from Durham City has died this afternoon following his admission to hospital on Sunday, May 13.

"The Club requests that the Howard and Baty families' right to privacy is respected and upheld at this most difficult time.

"We would like to extend our sincere condolences to the Baty family. Further information will follow."

The 22-strong party of rugby players visited Sri Lanka last Thursday and played a friendly against a local club two days later.

The following morning, two players fell ill and were taken to hospital, police said.

Howard's post-mortem examination on Tuesday did not show any injury or illness to have caused his death.

The judicial medial officer gave an open verdict and sent body samples for further analysis, police said.

The British embassy said in a short statement it was assisting the players' families and was in touch with local medical services.