AN INVESTIGATION is under way after an explosion at a city bed and breakfast for homeless people.
Police, fire crews and medics rushed to the scene in Longstone just before 8pm yesterday after the alarm was raised by neighbours and passers-by, who said they saw the front window of the property explode outwards.
Sources today suggested the explosion may have been caused by a petrol bomb.
Two men were taken to hospital. One man, aged 25, managed to escape the property and was taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary with serious burn and blast injuries.
A second casualty aged 60, who was rescued from the property by police officers, was also taken to the Royal Infirmary as a precaution and treated for smoke inhalation.
A woman was also led out of the house but did not require medical attention.
Fire crews said the blaze was contained to one room within the property. Burnt objects from the room, including a double-bed, mattress, a television and clothing, were removed and dumped in the property’s front garden.
Martin Harper, 40, delivery driver for a nearby Chinese takeaway, said: “I was driving past when the window just popped out and the car was just covered in glass. I just stopped the car and pulled over.
“And then a boy came out and his skin was all falling off. It was horrible seeing it.
“I put the front door in and there was a second security door that we couldn’t open and we were just banging on that. I was on the phone to the police and the fire brigade, and trying to divert the traffic.”
Next-door neighbour Paul Johnston, 56, said: “All I heard was an explosion and the window of the house exploded. It was just a loud bang. I just thought, ‘get out of the house!’.”