Man hit by masonry from Balmoral Hotel on Princes Street

The scene outside The Balmoral Hotel today. Picture: Jon Savage
The scene outside The Balmoral Hotel today. Picture: Jon Savage
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A man cheated death after bungling workmen sent a piece of masonry from Edinburgh iconic five star Balmoral Hotel crashing to the ground.

It’s understood the man, bleeding profusely from a gash on his head, managed to stumble over the road into the offices of NHS Lothian on North Bridge where stunned staff immediately leapt into action and treated him on the spot, stemming the blood flow before summoning help.

Picture: Jon Savage

Picture: Jon Savage

An ambulance with paramedic crew transferred him to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for further treatment.

The man, who is in his 40s, sustained a head injury while walking past the iconic Victorian hotel and is understood to have sustained a concussion as well as received stitches for his head wound.

Hotel owners Roccoforte have launched an investigation after specialist workmen brought in to check the safety of the building, sent a stone plummeting to street level, hitting the passerby.

A spokesperson for The Balmoral said: “A piece of spalling fell from the hotel while external contractors were conducting a safety masonry check of the building.

Picture: Jon Savage

Picture: Jon Savage

“All work was immediately stopped and we worked closely with Police Scotland and City of Edinburgh Council to ensure that additional precautionary public safety measures were put in place.

“Following the incident the exterior of the building was checked and confirmed safe. The safety and wellbeing of the gentleman involved and the general public is of the highest priority.

“A full investigation will now be carried out with our external contractors.”

And on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, Princes Street was temporarily closed between North Bridge and St Andrew Square as a precaution following the incident and re-opened at 12:25pm.

A statement from Police Scotland said: “We were called to the junction of North Bridge and Princes Street at 10.50am on Friday, December 15, following a report that masonry had struck a pedestrian.

“The man sustained a head injury, which is not believed to be life threatening.

“He has been taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for treatment.

“Princes Street was temporarily closed to pedestrians and traffic in both directions between North Bridge and St Andrews Square as a precaution.

“The road has now reopened and the public are thanked for their understanding.

Edinburgh council are responsible for the enforcement of health and safety legislation in shops, offices, and other parts of the service sector but due to ongoing construction checks and inspector from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) was contacted to ensure the site was safe and conduct initial enquiries.

A HSE spokesman said: “HSE was made aware of an incident today and inspectors are on site making initial enquiries.”

The Balmoral Hotel has recently completed a multi-million pound refurbishment of its events suites to celebrate Rocco Forte Group’s 20th anniversary.

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