Fountainbridge closed due to major building fire after gas explosion near Tollcross Primary

Multiple fire appliances are in attendance.
Multiple fire appliances are in attendance.
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An Edinburgh street has been closed off due to a major building fire near Tollcross Primary school.

READ MORE: Fountainbridge blast: Live updates after 'explosion and fire' at tenement near Tollcross Primary School

Pictures posted on social media show rubble on the ground beneath a building with multiple reports of a gas explosion coming from the building, which is metres from Tollcross Primary School.

A fire service spokeswoman confirmed fire crews have been dealing with the blaze but police have been unable to provide details on any injuries today.

In a tweet posted on Tuesday night, Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Alasdair Perry, the Incident Commander, said: "On arrival crews were confronted with a well-developed fire and visible structural damage.

“Firefighters were committed to search the building and commence both internal and external firefighting.

The rubble beneath the building.

The rubble beneath the building.

“We are working with our colleagues in Police Scotland and other partner agencies to resolve this incident and make the area safe

"I would like to thank all the firefighters and control staff involved in responding to this emergency and also our partners for their ongoing efforts.

“Due to the concern over the structural integrity of building it is anticipated that the surrounding streets are likely to remain closed for a period of time."

Calum Brown, from Dalgety Bay, who works opposite the scene, said he felt the 'glass office shake' at the time. He added: "I heard a bang then looked around and there was just dust rising from the ground.

This picture shows the burning flat.

This picture shows the burning flat.

"You could see smoke pouring from the chimney - I got there just before the first fire engine - you could see flames coming out of the window.

"Bricks were missing from the tenement building and had landed on the street. It was lucky that no one was underneath at the time."

Another bystander, Adrian Mather, said: "It looks like there has been an explosion in a property which has left a huge hole in the stonework and decimated a wheelie bin below. Lots of smoke and police have sealed off the street."

Neil Sneddon, a commercial banker, was in a meeting on the fourth floor in the Lloyds Banking Group building at the time of the explosion.

The scene at Fountainbridge. Pic: Corrie D J Young/Twitter

The scene at Fountainbridge. Pic: Corrie D J Young/Twitter

He said: "There was a big puff of sandy coloured smoke but, at the same time, a chimney was going and it looked like stuff came out of that. About 30 to 40 seconds after this, thick black smoke came up and to the back of the building.

"We had to go round the other side of our building and as we went round, I could smell the smoke in our building - it was coming in from air conditioners and we could see the smoke going across the city.

"There was also a silver gas emergency response vehicle heading up Gardner's Crescent at about 5:30pm."

Another local worker said: "I was working in the store at the time with my assistant manager and we both heard this really loud bang almost like a bin lorry dropping loads of glass bottles. We thought it was maybe a crash or something.

"When we looked outside we saw that the whole side of the building had come off a wee bit. We were all very shaken up. I think some of the debris hit a van but I'm not 100% sure.

"My colleague was on his way home at the time and outside at the time of the blast. It was him who called in the fire brigade. He got a huge shock and came running back inside the store.

"Always the number one priority for us was to get customers and staff indoors and away from it.

"We were eventually evacuated by police. I really hope no-one was injured from it."

There were several reports of flames coming from the building and smoke could be seen across the neighbourhood.

Large chunks of debris were also strewn across the road below.

On Tuesday evening, the City of Edinburgh Council tweeted that Tollcross Primary School, the nursery and community centre will be closed on Wednesday to the incident, with further updates to be issued.

The council-run Edinburgh Travel News tweeted to say that Fountainbridge has been closed both ways due to the building fire, between Ponton Street and Gardner's Crescent. There were also delays on Morrison Street, Lothian Road, West Tollcross and Grove Street.

Edinburgh Police have also tweeted: "Emergency services are in attendance following a report of an explosion and fire within a building in the #Fountainbridge area around 5pm today.

"Road closures: Lochrin Terrace, Ponton Street, West Tollcross and through to Gardner's Crescent."