A false alarm at Murrayfield Stadium has angered local residents – after an evacuation warning was blasted over the PA system.
Scores of guests at a major fundraising dinner were forced to evacuate the stadium after the ground’s alarm was accidentally set off at midnight on Sunday.
Emergency services were called to the stadium in Edinburgh’s west about 12.05am on Monday, only to find the warning had been tripped by mistake and there was no fire.
And nearby residents were left angered after an evacuation warning was announced over the PA system surrounding the entire ground.
It is understood the alarm went off for at least 20 minutes and was triggered by a wedding hosted in one of the stadium’s hospitality suites.
Representatives of the Scottish Rugby Union, which manages the stadium, did not know yesterday whether it had been sparked by a lit match or a separate incident.
More than 100 people still in attendance at a 900-strong fundraiser for the Kirkcaldy Central Mosque were ushered by security staff into the venue’s main carpark after the warning went off.
Chief fundraiser Habib Malik said the event had still managed to raise £235,000 despite the late hiccup.
He said: “Security people at Murrayfield told us that we needed to evacuate. There was an alarm and when I came outside you could hear the announcement around the stadium. It was telling us to evacuate the building immediately.
“The announcement was very loud. Even sitting in my car at the back of the building I could still hear it.”
Murrayfield retiree Irene Peddie, 91, said the ground’s alarm had at one point been going off daily.
She said: “It is annoying when it does go off. For a while it was going off every night. It is very loud. I don’t know how anybody could not hear it.”
Heriot-Watt University PhD student Kyle McNabb took to social media to complain about a sleepless night, tweeting: “I don’t even like rugby. Tynecastle never wakes me up at 12am. SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP.”
Murrayfield Community Council treasurer Stephen Holland said he had received complaints about the frequent alarms until recently. He said: “Apparently if the alarm went off in one section of the ground, it went off right around the ground. From what I understood, we thought they had fixed that.”
Contractor Murrayfield Experience regularly books events such as weddings and conferences at the sports venue.
A Scottish Rugby spokesman offered “sincere apologies” to residents for the disturbance.