Army declare object destroyed at Seafield recycling centre a ‘hoax’ as police continue probe

The Army has declared that an object found amongst clothes at an Edinburgh recycling centre was in fact a “hoax” - and police are continuing to probe the incident.

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The item, which appeared to have cylinders connected to a timer, was discovered by a sub-contractor while they emptied a black bin bag full of clothes, shortly before 9.20am on Thursday. It was later destroyed by a specialist bomb disposal team.

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The surprising find sparked a major police response and site evacuation and nearby Seafield Road was closed for several hours as explosive experts assessed the "unidentified” item. Lothian Buses also said bus services in the area had been disrupted.

A member of the bomb disposal team inspects the object at Seafield recycling centre. Pic: Andy O'Brien

An Army spokesperson said an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team from Edinburgh responded to the incident at the request of police.

The spokesperson said: “Following a controlled explosion the operator declared the item to be a hoax.”

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Pictures taken at the scene on Thursday showed a bomb disposal expert kneeling down and inspecting the object in the area it was found, close to some green bins. Seafield Road was also cordoned off between Fillyside Road and Craigentinny Avenue North during the incident and a police car was parked at the site entrance.

Images and video footage also showed a robot being used as part of the bomb disposal team’s assessment.

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The item concerned. Pic: Andy O'Brien

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "Officers were called to a recycling centre in Seafield, Edinburgh, following a report of an unidentified item being found at around 9.20am on Thursday, 22 April, 2021.

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"A cordon was put in place while specialist teams attended to assess the item. The item has been established to pose no risk to the public and has been destroyed.

"Enquiries remain ongoing."

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Details of what exactly the object was made up of remain unclear, and a full explanation why the item ended up there is still being investigated by police.

The bomb disposal team destroyed the object on Thursday. Pic: Andy O'Brien
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Earlier on Thursday, Edinburgh City Council leader Adam McVey said the recycling centre was closed to ensure the safety of site users and staff.

The local authority later confirmed that the recycling centre will open as normal on Friday for booked appointments.

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The Edinburgh Travel News Twitter account, run by members of the council’s roads team, said that Seafield Road had been closed in both directions between Fillyside Road and Craigentinny Avenue North due to the ongoing incident. As a result, traffic was heavier on Seafield Road East, Restalrig Road, Craigentinny Avenue and Lochend Road.

An update was later shared by Edinburgh Travel News to say the road reopened around 2.40pm.

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