Two police officers were rushed to hospital after their vehicle ploughed into three cars during a high-speed pursuit of a stolen Mini.
The officers were said to have suffered “serious injuries” in the early-morning crash in Drum Brae Drive.
Shaken residents described being wakened by a “loud bang” before looking out of their windows to see a scene that was “like a war zone”.
The crash took place at about 4am yesterday after the vehicle hit a traffic island.
One of the injured men is understood to have suffered broken fingers and a suspected wrist fracture, while the thieves who stole the black Mini are still at large.
Tyre marks could be seen leading from the traffic island to the debris the police car left in its wake. Shattered glass covered the pavement, a fence was destroyed and the three cars are feared to be write-offs.
Parts of the police car and wood from the fence were scattered across driveways, while the impact cracked at least two downstairs windows.
Joanne Connachan and Ross Haggarty were devastated to see the damage to their white Ford Fiesta, which they bought only two months ago. Their home and car ended up covered in paint, as the police vehicle smashed into paint pots they had left by their bin.
Ms Connachan, 25, initially feared there had been a gas explosion caused by renovation work in their kitchen.
She said: “It’s a nightmare. I don’t know if I was still half asleep. I thought it was a kitchen explosion.”
Wilma Mullen and David Carroll woke to find the police vehicle had smashed into their green Citroen and navy Renault cars, both of which ended up facing the other way. The force of the crash propelled the back axle of the Citroen 35 to 40 feet away.
The police car eventually crashed through a fence into their neighbour’s garden, coming to rest against a cherry tree.
Ms Mullen, 65, said: “It was just inches from the gas meter – it could have been a different story. I woke up to a big bang. I saw a police car in the garden, and I just couldn’t believe it.”
Gordon Roy, 65, said: “The noise was incredible. It was like a war zone. Imagine if it had been during the day, when people were walking up and down the pavement.”
His wife Linda, 59, said she had been dozing when she heard the stolen car “screaming” up the road.
Police would not go into detail about its car chase policy or the speed at which the officers had been travelling.
Chief Superintendent Mark Williams said: “This incident highlights the absolute recklessness and selfishness of these criminals, who have no concern for the safety of themselves or the public. We are focusing on finding those responsible as a priority. In the meantime, my officers will continue our crackdown on housebreaking and car theft.”