Two die in party plunge

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The Independent Online
Two office workers at a Christmas party crashed through a fifth-floor window and fell 60 feet to their deaths after one of them had stepped in to break up a minor squabble.

Michael Doyle, from Withington, Manchester, went to act as peacemaker when he saw colleague Steven Partington rowing with another man. Moments later he and Mr Partington stumbled towards a window and fell through it. They were both dead on arrival at hospital.

The two men, both aged 26, had been at a party at the Benefits Agency office in Salford, Manchester, in the early hours of yesterday when Mr Partington, a father of three from Salford, was caught up in a row.

Yesterday police launched an investigation into how the accident happened. Detective Superintendent Jim Henderson said: "It would appear that this was a tragic accident and we are not looking at a criminal act. All information we have so far suggests theinitial argument was no more than a minor tiff and that the third man got involved to act as peacemaker."

Mr Doyle's mother Mary, from Withington, said: "He was a lovely, quiet lad who never had a row in his life."