Horror as elderly man dies after Edinburgh gas explosion that flattened home, as man and woman rescued

2 December 2023, 09:22 | Updated: 2 December 2023, 11:43

A man died after the blast
A man died after the blast. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

A pensioner has died after a gas explosion that destroyed an Edinburgh house, with two more people rescued.

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The blast, which took place on Baberton Mains Avenue in the south-west of the Scottish capital at around 10.25pm on Friday, could be heard miles away.

An 84-year-old man died, while a 43-year-old woman and 54-year-old man were taken to hospital for treatment.

The man who died was understood to be in a neighbouring property.

Neighbours said they could feel their houses shaking in the explosion.

Images from the scene showed the house completely flattened and rubble strewn across the streets.

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Emergency services rushed to the scene, and police have asked people to stay away from the area.

Police Scotland said: "Around 10.25pm on Friday 1 December 2023 we were called to reports of an explosion at a property on Baberton Mains Avenue in Edinburgh. Emergency services are at the scene, and we would advise people to avoid the area at this time.”

They later added: "An 84-year-old man has died following an explosion at a house in Baberton Mains Avenue in Edinburgh...

"Emergency services attended and a 43-year-old woman and 54-year-old man were taken to hospital for treatment.

The scene on Baberton Mains Avenue, Edinburgh, after an 84-year-old man died following an explosion at a house on Friday night
The scene on Baberton Mains Avenue, Edinburgh, after an 84-year-old man died following an explosion at a house on Friday night. Picture: Alamy

"Several properties were evacuated as a precaution and the road remains closed.

"There are no suspicious circumstances and we are continuing to work alongside our partner agencies."

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “We were alerted at 10.26pm on Friday 1 December to reports of a gas explosion affecting residential properties on Baberton Mains Avenue in Edinburgh.

“Operations control mobilised five fire appliances and specialist resources to the area where firefighters worked to make the area safe. Two casualties were rescued prior to our arrival, and the crews remain on scene.”

The scene on Baberton Mains Avenue, Edinburgh, after an 84-year-old man died following an explosion at a house on Friday night
The scene on Baberton Mains Avenue, Edinburgh, after an 84-year-old man died following an explosion at a house on Friday night. Picture: Alamy

A spokeswoman for gas distributor SGN said the body was brought in to assist emergency services and "ensure the immediate vicinity" was "made safe", adding it was "too early to speculate" on the cause of the explosion.

"At around 10.45pm last night, we received a request to assist the emergency services following reports of a serious explosion in Baberton, Edinburgh," the spokeswoman said.

"Our engineers worked with the emergency services to ensure the immediate vicinity in Baberton Mains Avenue was made safe in our role as the gas emergency service.

"Our deepest sympathies are with the family of the man who has tragically died as well as those who have been injured.

The scene on Baberton Mains Avenue, Edinburgh, after an 84-year-old man died following an explosion at a house on Friday night
The scene on Baberton Mains Avenue, Edinburgh, after an 84-year-old man died following an explosion at a house on Friday night. Picture: Alamy

"While it is too early to speculate as to what has happened, we are working closely with the authorities to help discover the cause."

Sue Webber, a Scottish Tory MSP for the Lothian region, wrote on social media: "Such tragic news, in such a close community.

"Thank you to all the emergency services that attended. My thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by this incident."

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