Human remains found in suitcases at UK's Clifton Suspension Bridge

LONDON (Reuters) - British police have launched a manhunt after two suitcases which are believed to contain human remains were found at the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, south west England.

Police said they had received a report of a man with a suitcase acting suspiciously on the bridge just before midnight on Wednesday but when they arrived he had already gone, leaving the suitcase behind. A second suitcase was also found nearby.

The suitcases are believed to contain human remains, Avon and Somerset Police said in a statement on Thursday.

"This is a very disturbing incident and I fully recognise the concern it will be causing our communities," Acting Bristol Commander Vicks Hayward-Melen said.

"Our immediate priority is to locate the man who took the suitcases to the bridge, identify the deceased, and inform their next of kin."

Police said they were speaking to the driver of a taxi which took the man to the bridge and had seized the vehicle. The bridge, spanning the Avon Gorge and the River Avon, is closed while crime scene investigators examine the area.

One of Bristol's most recognisable landmarks, the suspension bridge was built based on a design by renowned 19th century engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and opened in 1864. It has protected status in law.

(Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)