Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Body found after explosion at Fountainbridge flat

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Media captionA fierce blaze could be seen inside the building

A body has been found after a fire and explosion at a flat in Edinburgh.

Emergency services were called to the property in Fountainbridge, next to Tollcross Primary School, at about 17:00 on Tuesday.

Police said on Wednesday that a body had been found on the second floor of the four-storey tenement.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is under way, although it is not thought to be suspicious.

Fire crews have had to retreat from the building due to its fragile state and the area remains cordoned off.

Ch Insp Scott Richardson said: "Our thoughts at this time remain with the relatives of the person who has sadly passed away.

"Firefighters remain at the scene while the building is assessed for structural damage.

"The explosion and fire has caused significant damage to the building and Fountainbridge will remain closed for the foreseeable. I would ask that members of the public avoid the area, where possible."

The road between Gardner's Crescent to Ponton Street is shut and the nearby Tollcross Primary School has been closed until the end of the week.

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Media captionAndrew McQuater was driving past the building when the blast happened

Eyewitness Andrew McQuater, 21, said: "I was driving home from work when there was a massive explosion and bricks and rubble crashed down in front of my van.

"There was a huge cloud of dust and I couldn't see out of the window. The rubble landed in front of my van and created dents in the bodywork.

"I was shaking so much, I was just one metre away from death and the adrenalin was rushing through me."

The electrician said he got out of his vehicle and along with another man hammered on the door of the tenement building where the debris had fallen.

Mr McQuater added: "We kicked the door in and ran up the stairwell shouting fire. There was a very strong smell of gas by the time we reached the third floor so we had to leave. On our way back down the stairs we banged on all of the doors shouting fire, fire."

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