MISSING airman Corrie McKeague is believed to have died after he climbed into an industrial waste bin while drunk on a night out and it was then emptied into a lorry, an inquest has heard.

Corrie, from Dunfermline, was 23 when he vanished in the early hours of September 24, 2016, after a night out in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

No trace of him has been found but Suffolk’s senior coroner, Nigel Parsley, said Corrie “died in the Suffolk jurisdiction in September 2016”.

The hearing in Ipswich was opened and adjourned on Friday.

Corrie was last seen on CCTV in Brentgovel Street in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, at around 3.25am on September 24, 2016.

Marina Ericson, Temporary Chief Superintendent of Suffolk Police, told the hearing it was believed that Corrie climbed into a bin which was emptied into a waste lorry where he subsequently died.

She said Corrie drove into Bury St Edmunds on the evening of Friday, September 23, 2016 and met up with RAF colleagues to go drinking and socialising.

“Witnesses state that Corrie consumed so much alcohol through the evening that he became very drunk and was asked to leave Flex nightclub,” she said.

“Witnesses also described him as being happy and friendly throughout the evening.”

“Corrie’s mobile phone, having connected to the internet, provided a signal from this point which mapped the movements of the waste lorry to the Barton Mills roundabout.

“At that point, the mobile service provider lost the signal.”

Corrie was reported missing at 3.42pm on Monday, September 26, by colleagues at RAF Honington.

Ms Ericson went on: “Despite an extensive police-led investigation and search, there has been no proof of life since the last sighting of Corrie at 3.25am on Saturday, September 24, 2016.

“It is believed that Corrie, having climbed into the Greggs waste bin located in the area of the horseshoe in Brentgovel Street, was in the bin when it was emptied into the Biffa waste lorry and this is where he subsequently died.”

The coroner said: “On the basis of the evidence I’ve heard, I will open an inquest into Corrie’s tragic death.”

A pre-inquest review hearing will take place on February 5.

Corrie’s mother, Nicola Urquhart, listened to proceedings remotely, while his father, Martin McKeague, and his wife, Trisha, attended the hearing in person. Nicola told the Press last week that she hopes that an inquest will provide answers about what happened to her son.