Chemical alert after man’s body found in Fife graveyard

Vicarsford graveyard near Drumoig. Picture: Google
Vicarsford graveyard near Drumoig. Picture: Google
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A RURAL cemetery in Fife is at the centre of a chemical alert following the discovery of man’s body in the graveyard.

A specialist decontamination unit from Fife Fire and Rescue Service and experts from the Scottish Decontamination Service have been called to the Vicarsford Cemetery on the outskirts of Tayport where the body of a 50-year-old local man was found in the grounds in the early hours of the morning.

Three people have been taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee as a precautionary measure. But a spokesman for Fife Constabulary stressed: “There is no threat to the public and the incident is very localised.”

A spokesman for Fife Fire and Rescue Service said fire units had been called out at 6.34am to attend an incident at Vicarsford Cemetery, Kirkton, Tayport, to assist the police and the ambulance service after the body of a man had been discovered in the grounds of the cemetery.

He said: “Due to a suspected chemical being present the decontamination unit from Glenrothes and four appliances from Methil, Tayport and Glenrothes were initially sent to the scene. We are now down to two pumps and a decontamination team. We are are trying to positively identify the chemical that is present.”

Supt David McCulloch, of Fife Constabulary, said: “We are at the initial stages of the investigation. There might have been a chemical involved, which is why we have called the assistance of Fife Fire and Rescue Service and the expertise of the Scottish Decontamination Service. The chemical exposure is very localised to the incident.”

He added: “Three people have been taken to Ninewells Hospital only as a precautionary measure as they have not presented any symptoms. There is no threat to the public.”

The cemetery is sited adjacent to the A914 Dundee to Cupar road and the road has been closed as a precautionary measure.

Update: 5pm

The alert at the cemetery was stood down this afternoon after a sealed container of sodium cyanide, discovered in a car in which the man’s body was found, was safely removed by decontamination specialists.

The three people who were taken to Ninewells Hospital as a precautionary measure have been discharged.