British fitness instructor killed in Dubai tower plunge

Circumstances surrounding Elwood McIlwraith still remain unclear

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The Independent Online

A British fitness instructor and former Royal Navy sailor has died after falling from a balcony in Dubai, less than three months after he got married.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed today that 29-year-old Elwood McIlwraith died on Saturday.

According to English language news site Gulf News, Mr McIlwraith, from Hull, fell from the 42-storey Laguna Tower, in the same district where he worked as a fitness instructor at Smart Fitness gym.

It is not clear whether he lived in the building and an investigation into his death is continuing.

Mr McIlwraith served in the Navy for five years before moving to Dubai two years ago and began working at Smart Fitness shortly after it opened.

Mr McIlwraith was working in Dubai as a fitness instructor and had recently got married, the newspaper reported.

He reportedly married his partner Susie in February.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Smart Fitness said: "On Saturday, we lost a very special member of the Smart Fitness family.

"Elwood was a founder trainer who played a big part in helping make Smart Fitness what it is today.

"He brought tremendous energy and warmth to the gym and his genuine kindness made everyone feel comfortable irrespective of their fitness level.

"He was such a talented personal trainer that he had the ability to encourage people to go beyond their limits and achieve results they wouldn’t have thought were possible.

"It’s so hard for us to imagine the gym and Smart camps without his smile, encouragement and dodgy banter."

Mr McIlwraith's fall is the the third to kill a British expat in three months.

Last month, Emirates stewardess Evelyn Clark died after falling from a Bur Dubai building, while Abbie Emmett plunged from the window of a fourth-floor honeymoon suite after a night out with her new husband, motorcycle champion Sean Emmett.