NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Boy taken to hospital after suffering severe burns

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Media captionPolice have refused to say if they are treating the incident as a criminal act, as Lorna Gordon reports

A seven-year-old boy has been taken to hospital in Aberdeen suffering serious burns.

Emergency services were called to flats in the city's Bedford Avenue at about 14:00.

It is understood the incident involved petrol and police are following a positive line of enquiry.

Police officers at the scene investigating the incident have declined to say whether they are treating it as a criminal act.

The boy is in Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital, where his condition is described as serious.

One of the boy's neighbours, Victoria-Jayne Pirie, said: "When we came out we'd heard him screaming.

"He'd been lying on the floor trying to get himself calm but nothing was working and he just ran up the back gardens screaming and crying.

"He was outside in the back garden... then he ran inside the building."

Another neighbour, Shona Henderson, said: "I saw his clothes lying on the ground and his shoes all over the floor and fire still there.

"By the time we got there (his clothing) was sticking to his skin - it looked like it had melted into his skin."

Police Scotland has said inquiries are at an early stage.

Det Insp Lorna Ferguson said: "Shortly before 2pm this afternoon police were called to an incident on Bedford Avenue, where a seven-year-old boy was found with burn injuries.

"He was taken by ambulance up to the Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital, where he's being treated."

Asked if the police were conducting a criminal inquiry, Det Insp Ferguson said: "It's too early to say at the moment."

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