Death of cyclist at Water of Leith unexplained

The path running alongside Stenhouse Industrial Estate and the Water of Leith. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach

The path running alongside Stenhouse Industrial Estate and the Water of Leith. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach

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THE body of a cyclist has been discovered in the Water of Leith following what is believed to have been a tragic accident.

The man, thought to be in his 40s, was found face down in shallow water yesterday morning close to Stenhouse Industrial Estate.

Detectives were seen scouring the embankment below the popular cycle path which follows the waterway and are currently treating the death as ­“unexplained”.

Witnesses said police dive teams waded through the waters and found a bicycle near where the body was lying.

Police said it was too early to comment on whether the man drowned or died as a result of a fall.

A large section of the Water of Leith was sealed off for several hours while investigators probed the scene.

Bryan Gardner, a salesman who had been working in the area, said he saw the man lying face down in the water close to the embankment.

Another walker had just made the discovery. He said the scene was close to a sharp bend on the cycle path and that locals had speculated the man may have lost control of his bike.

Mr Gardner added: “The man wasn’t very old.

“His head was right on the edge of the embankment but wasn’t completely under the water, and his bike was right out in the middle of the Water of Leith.

“From the way he was lying, I am guessing that it was late at night and he didn’t see the bend.”

Stevan Thorburn, branch manager of nearby Senate Electrical, said: “Initially there were quite a lot of ambulances – there must have been four or five – and it was being treated as a major incident.

“There were two fire engines and a fire response unit and three guys in diving suits.

“It looks like he has come off his push bike and that it was an accident.”

He added: “The route is reasonably popular so I would say the chances are that the accident happened late at night.”

It is not known how long the body had lain in the water next to the busy path which is on the national cycle route.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We responded to a call at the Water of Leith, near to the Stenhouse Industrial Estate at around 9.30am on Monday, July 21, where the body of a man was recovered from the water.

“Inquiries are ongoing to determine the circumstances surrounding his death, which is currently being treated as unexplained.”

john.connell@edinburghnews.com