WHITEFIELD Metrolink Station was closed after a man was found hanged under a staircase next to the platform in full view of commuters.

Children on their way to school were horrified when they spotted a man dead on a platform.

The man, who is understood to be in his 60s, was found hanged under a set of stairs at Whitefield Metrolink Station at about 8.25am today.

The first Bury-bound service passed through Whitefield at 5.47am today, but it is thought that it was too dark for passengers on early services to see the man.

Police said they are unsure as to whether he was there at that point or if he arrived at the station later.

Chris Trees, headteacher at Philips High School in Whitefield, said eight of his pupils - some of them aged just 11 - saw the man's body on their way to school.

He said two of the pupils had been given counselling in school and one of them had been sent home at the request of his parents, though the others were continuing lessons as normal.

Umar Yameen, aged 18, of Crumpsall, was on a Bury-bound tram on his way to Bury College when the tram passed through Whitefield station at about 8.30am.

He said: "There was a man under the stairs hanging with a orange rope around his neck, not much distance from the floor to his feet.

"He was wrapped up and wearing a hat because of the cold.

"It was very bad to see. People reacted with shock."

Mr Yameen added: "He was alone but then two policemen came. Eventually they placed a black cover around him."

Waqar Grzeskow, aged 17, of Crumpsall, also took a tram into Bury.

He said: "I heard some commotion and went to see what it was and there a man, roughly in his 60s.

"The tram was full of people from schoolchildren to workers. It was traumatic. Everyone was shocked and horrified."

The station was closed until about noon when it reopened fully.

A police spokesman said: "At about 8.30am, emergency services were called to Whitefield Metrolink station on Stanley Road to reports a man had been found hanged.

"Officers attended to find a man who was pronounced dead at the scene."

Firefighters helped police remove the body.