Muirhouse bombscare: Residents tell of terror

Fidra Court in Muirhouse was closed off and residents evacuated after reports of suspicious packages prompted police to call the bomb squad. Pic: Mark Brown
Fidra Court in Muirhouse was closed off and residents evacuated after reports of suspicious packages prompted police to call the bomb squad. Pic: Mark Brown
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STUNNED residents today told how they were forced to flee their homes during a late-night bomb scare.

Between 200 and 300 people from Muirhouse were evacuated to Ainslie Park Leisure Centre and a nearby cafe on Friday after a number of suspicious packages were found by fire crews responding to a blaze.

They were all allowed to return to their homes at around 3am on Saturday.

Police officers working in shifts remained on the scene over the weekend as investigations continued, but the force said that no-one had been arrested or charged in connection with the incident. The lifts and communal areas in the 14-storey Fidra Court block of flats still smell strongly of smoke.

Former army man Craig Carlin, 27, who lives on the sixth floor, was one of those forced from his home.

He said: “People couldn’t believe it. The police were banging on every single door telling everyone to get out.”

Two bomb disposal units, ten police cars and two ambulances were quickly on the scene after the alarm was first raised at around 9pm on Friday.

Residents, including young children and pensioners, were evacuated to the nearby locations, where city council staff were on hand.

Vickie Kivlin, 26, was staying with a friend at nearby May Court when she heard the commotion.

She said: “We asked the police what was going on and if we were safe. They said they didn’t know. It was terrifying.

“When we saw the bomb disposal teams that’s when we said ‘My God’. If anything was to explode it would come down on us.”

Robert Pearson, chairman of Tenants and Residents in Muirhouse (Trim), said: “The way it has been handled has been absolutely fantastic. Residents were very pleased with the response from the fire service, ambulance service and the police.”