The Director General of the Northern Ireland Prison Service has expressed his 'deep sadness' following the deaths of two people in custody.

The deaths took place at Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre and Prison in south Belfast yesterday.

Colin McConnell said the thoughts and prayers of the entire Service are with the bereaved families.

Officers found 19-year-old Samuel Carson in a collapsed state in his cell around 5pm yesterday. Attempts to resuscitate him failed.

At around 8.30pm yesterday evening, during a routine check by staff of a different wing, officers found 23-year-old Frances McKeown in a collapsed state in her cell.

Efforts to resuscitate her by staff and paramedics were unsuccessful.

Both families have been notified.

The man and woman were both remand prisoners and a spokesperson for the Prison Service said the deaths were not related.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland, Coroner and Prisoner Ombudsman have also been informed and their investigations are ongoing.