Bomb scare closes Edinburgh street for three hours

A bomb disposal team and emergency services attend the scene. Picture: Neil Hanna
A bomb disposal team and emergency services attend the scene. Picture: Neil Hanna
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Residents were evacuated from their homes for nearly three hours after a “suspicious item” was found in a Longstone flat.

Police erected an extensive cordon around the block and a park in Longstone Street, while officers from the Royal Logistical Corps bomb disposal unit launched a probe.

An operative suits up and heads in. Picture: @Andohugh

An operative suits up and heads in. Picture: @Andohugh

At the height of the incident, two ambulance emergency support units, a riot van and at least five police cars were in attendance while residents, including a large group of children, looked on.

At one point, a police officer guarding the scene told onlookers not to take pictures because of “national security”.

However it later emerged that the incident had been a false alarm and the item was not found to be explosive.

Locals living in the block at number 82 were initially told to remain in their homes but police officers evacuated them around an hour later, shortly after 2pm yesterday.

The emergency services have a heavy presence at the street, which has been partially closed off. Picture: Kaye Nicolson

The emergency services have a heavy presence at the street, which has been partially closed off. Picture: Kaye Nicolson

One resident, who asked not to be named, said: “This is alarming. I have a ten-year-old daughter, she was here at the start of it so she’s not sure what’s going on.

“All the kids will be going back to school, telling everyone this happened in their holidays. It’s the classic case of you never think it’s going to happen on your own doorstep.”

Another neighbour said he had been revising for an exam in his flat before he was evacuated.

He said: “Next thing I knew I got a knock on the door. There were police cars, a few ambulances, and the bomb disposal unit.”

The bomb disposal robot. Picture: @andohugh

The bomb disposal robot. Picture: @andohugh

One officer from the bomb squad put on a protective suit and went into the block of flats for around ten minutes.

He reported back to senior police officers and ambulance staff, who made notes on a clipboard.

His colleague was then seen going into the property with a red toolbox.

When he returned a short time later, the cordon was taken down within a matter of minutes and relieved residents were allowed to return to their homes shortly before 5pm.

Emergency services at the scene. Picture @andohugh

Emergency services at the scene. Picture @andohugh

Earlier in the day, the bomb squad attempted to use a robot in a neighbouring stairwell to test it out before using it in the affected block.

As the emergency services started to leave the scene, more shocked residents started returning home from work.

It is understood the major response was prompted by a resident who had claimed he had a suspicious device in his flat. A 40-year-old man was detained by police pending further inquiry. However, no charges have been brought.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Police attended on Longstone Street following a report of a suspicious item. Neighbouring premises were evacuated as a precaution while officers and partner agencies conducted inquiries. No explosives were recovered.”