Football: N. Ireland fan plunges to his death in Nice beach accident at Euro 2016

The site where a Northern Irish football fan fell in the French riviera city of Nice, southeastern France, on June 13, 2016.
The site where a Northern Irish football fan fell in the French riviera city of Nice, southeastern France, on June 13, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

NICE, France (AFP) - A Northern Ireland fan became the first fatality at Euro 2016 after plunging to his death from a guard rail overlooking the sea in the French city of Nice, a police source said on Monday (June 13).

The young fan, who was in his 20s, fell between seven and eight metres onto the beach fronting the Mediterranean at around 2am (8am Singapore time), the source told AFP.

"On behalf of the Irish Football Association, I would like to express my deep sadness at the tragic death of a Northern Ireland supporter," said Patrick Nelson, CEO of the Irish FA, in a statement.

"The thoughts of everyone at the association are with his family and friends at this time."

An investigation was under way to determine the cause of his death, which was believed to be accidental and has no link to the clashes between fans that marred the opening of the tournament in nearby Marseille at the weekend.

Northern Ireland played their first game of the tournament on Sunday in Nice, losing 0-1 to Poland in Group C.

By contrast with the violence during Saturday's England-Russia Group B game in Marseille, the game in Nice passed off without incident.

But a day before the match in Nice, seven people were injured in the city after scuffles broke out between French locals and Northern Ireland supporters following the England-Russia game.