9am briefing: Fire crews called to gas leak at factory

A CHEMICAL incident team was called to a gas leak at an air conditioning plant.

The leak, at Mitsubishi Air Conditioning Systems in Nettlehill Road, Livingston, occurred while a unit was undergoing final inspections at around 2.30am. Twenty staff were evacuated. Fire crews wearing gas-tight suits ventilated the plant.

Mitsubishi general affairs manager Iain Riddle said: "It was an inert refrigeration gas found in household air con units and is not dangerous."

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A fire spokesman said the gas can be toxic but not in the volume released.

Fire crews were also in action at a blaze in a derelict social club in Newtongrange Eight appliances spent three hours fighting a fire at the former Morris Club, on Morris Road, from around 12.40am.

RBS announce branch closures

ROYAL Bank of Scotland will today reveal office closures at its Churchill and Direct Line business as part of existing plans to cut 2,000 jobs.

The part-nationalised bank is expected to outline the closures to staff this afternoon as part of a previously announced move to shed jobs at the insurance division, which it was ordered to sell by the European Commission by 2013.

It is thought that its Atlantic Quay offices in Glasgow - which employs around 640 staff - are among those set to be axed, although the group is understood to be planning to create jobs elsewhere in the city.

RBS - 83 per cent owned by the taxpayer - said: "We announced in May that we were looking to consolidate our UK office network as part of our plans to achieve efficiencies across our insurance business as we prepare it for sale as mandated by the EU.

"However we do not comment on speculation and have a commitment to our staff that we will always tell them first if we are announcing any changes that affect them."

Hepititis alert at Edinburgh school

MERCHISTON Castle School is at the centre of a hepititis scare.

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Up to 60 families were alerted after a 14-year-old Ugandan visitor to a summer sports camp was found to be infected with hepatitis A. It is thought he contracted it abroad.

Watersports fan in rescue drama

A MAN was airlifted to hospital last night after an accident off the coast of East Lothian.

The 32-year-old had either been windsurfing or diving when he broke his thigh bone near to Tyninghame on the outskirts of East Linton.

A spokesman for the coastguard said the man had managed to make his way ashore shortly after 8.30pm.

He said: "We're not sure if its windsurfing or diving he was doing but he has somehow broken his femur.

"He made his way onto the beach and the coastguard have gone out there using a 4x4 to assist. "

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