Man dies in 40ft fall at city centre flat

The front door of the tenement which is on George IV Bridge. Picture: Gordon Fraser

The front door of the tenement which is on George IV Bridge. Picture: Gordon Fraser

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A MAN plunged 40ft to his death in a city centre stairwell in the early hours of Boxing Day.

The 29-year-old was found at 2.20am after he fell from the top floor of a tenement building on George IV Bridge. Police said their inquiries were at an early stage and that the man’s death was being treated as “unexplained”.

It is understood he toppled over the bannister of an interior stairwell, and landed behind metal railings on the ground floor.

He was found lying on the concrete floor beside a push bike within an enclosure, which was padlocked shut.

An ambulance was called, but the barrier prevented paramedics from reaching him, sparking a frantic rescue operation which saw firefighters arrive and use cutting tools to gain ­access to the man. Paramedics then desperately tried to revive him for several minutes, but he was pronounced dead at the scene less than an hour after the fall.

An investigation has been launched into the circumstances surrounding the man’s death, which is not thought to be suspicious.

It is understood that officers found there was no indication of a disturbance ­before the fall.

There have also been suggestions that the man may have been drinking heavily before the incident.

However, police have been unable to confirm at this stage if the man accidentally fell to his death. Uniformed officers were standing guard all day yesterday at the top of a first-floor landing inside the communal stairwell.

A Police Scotland spokesman said that it appeared the man fell from the third floor of the building.

The spokesman added: “Police were called to an incident at George IV Bridge at 2.20 yesterday morning after the body of a 29-year-old man was discovered.”

He added: “Investigations are at an early stage and the matter is being treated as unexplained.”

It is understood that the man worked as a delivery driver and had been visiting someone who lived in a flat within the tenement.

A post-mortem is expected to be carried out on Monday or Tuesday, the results of which will be passed to the Crown Office.

john.connell@edinburghnews.com