THE BODIES of a man and a woman have been found in a room at Edinburgh’s Scotsman Hotel on North Bridge in a suspected ‘chemical incident’.
Emergency services rushed to the five-star hotel after the hotel staff reportedly discovered the pair in bed at 12.15pm today.
Staff are also said to have found an unidentified substance in the sixth floor room which led to a full chemical response team being dispatched and the fifth, sixth and seventh floors being evacuated. Police say there is no wider risk to guests or the public.
Guests reported smelling “something horrible,” like sewage, in the hotel.
A large cordon stretches from the hotel entrance on North Bridge along the pavement towards the Balmoral Hotel on Princes Street. The road remains open to traffic.
Police Scotland’s Chief Inspector Murray Dykes held a brief conference outside the scene but would not be drawn on the possible chemical involvement.
He said: “At 12.15pm, today the bodies of a man and a woman were found. They were found by a member of hotel staff. A full forensic investigation will now take place.”
The police are currently treating the deaths as “unexplained”.
He said despite a DIM vehicle, which is used to identify hazardous materials, from the fire service attending he was unable to comment on the involvement of chemicals.
He added: “There was a partial evacuation of the hotel, specific floors, for initial public safety.”
He was unable to comment on the couple’s age or nationality and added that the use of chemical suits was “as a precaution”.
Norma and Derek Cameron, from Kelso, are staying at the hotel for two nights while they see the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. They were prevented from returning to their room on the eighth floor.
Mrs Cameron, 71, said: “We were just going back to go to the Tattoo. We wanted to get in and get refreshed.
“The police weren’t giving anything away. They just said that the hotel had been closed and everyone evacuated.
“It’s horrible to think about. I’m not sure I want to go back in now.”
Mr Cameron, 73, said: “We’ll just have to wait. If it’s true they’ve found a couple of deceased in there, you would fully expect them to have a really serious look around.”
Lynn Massie, 34, and Neil Cooper, 31, from Aberdeen, are staying at the Scotsman and are waiting to collect their luggage after a two-day break.
Ms Massie said: “We’re really shocked. I feel very sorry for the families of the two people. I don’t know what happened but it’s quite sad.
“You don’t expect something like this to happen at a five-star hotel. It’s a shame for the hotel staff too.”