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Monday, November 24, 1997 Published at 11:11 GMT

image: [ Red Harrison in Sydney ]Red Harrison
From Sydney

A coroner in Australia has found that Michael Hutchence, the singer of the rock band INXS, died from suffocation caused by hanging. Hutchence's body was found naked, hanging from a belt on the door of his room in a Sydney hotel on Saturday. His partner, Paula Yates, arrived in Sydney a few hours ago. Red Harrison reports from Sydney:

The coroner said he could not determine if Michael Hutchence had committed suicide. He could say only that death was caused by suffocation while the 37 year old singer was hanging from a leather belt.

Scientific tests to determine if drugs were involved are expected to take several weeks. Police say they found prescription medicines and empty alcohol bottles in the room but no evidence of illegal drugs.

And they described as 'absurd' media reports of a bizarre game involving sex and drugs. Police insist there were no suspicious circumstances. The singer's partner, Paula Yates, arrived in Sydney with their 16 month old daughter, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, and police helped them to avoid a large media contingent at the airport. Paula Yates is understood to have joined Michael Hutchence's parents, who have issued a statement appealing for privacy to allow them to grieve in peace.

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