THE inquest into the deaths of Viola Beach and their band manager Craig Tarry was formally opened today, Thursday, at Warrington Town Hall.

Many family members were present during the hearing, which was held by the senior coroner for Cheshire Nicholas Rheinberg .

Detective sergeant Elaine Duddle from Cheshire Police outlined the details of the case which are known so far.

She said: "At approximately 2.30am on Saturday, February 13, Mr Craig Tarry, Mr Kristian Leonard, Mr River Reeves, Mr Tomas Lowe and Mr Jack Dakin were travelling in a vehicle bearing the registration plate FOL282 along the E4 motorway on Södertälje, Sweden heading in the direction of Arlanda airport.

"At this time the instruction had been given to raise the motorway bridge to allow a passing vessel in the canal below.

"A barrier had been lowered across the motorway to stop traffic and prevent any further vehicles passing.

"The vehicle carrying the aforementioned occupants has collided with the barrier and passed through the restricted area towards the raising bridge.

"The vehicle then collided with the raising bridge causing severe injuries to the occupants of the vehicle before falling off the bridge into the canal below.

"Swedish Police attended the scene and made a search of the canal and discovered that all occupants of the vehicle had been tragically killed."

During the hearing, it was confirmed that identification had taken place and a forensic post-mortem examination had been carried out.

While preliminary results have been released the coroner's court is still waiting to receive the report in full.

Coroner Rheinberg offered his condolences to the family during the 20-minute hearing as well as thanking the Swedish authorities for their assistance with the investigation.

He said: "The level of cooperation [from the Swedish authorities] has been extremely good and I think in all my career I have never had such an immediate and positive response from a foreign organisation." 

Coroner Rheinberg also released the five men's bodies so their funerals could take place.

The next date for the inquest will be confirmed at a later date.